Defending champions Boeung Ket left it late before shaking off steadily growing new comers Vishaka 1-0 to retain top spot in the Metfone C-League on Sunday.
Even as Japan hailed the appointment of Keisuke Honda as the Kingdom’s head coach earlier in the day, Japanese midfielder Hikaru Mizuno stamped his mark on a floodlit Olympic Stadium by scoring Boeung Ket’s winner on 82 minutes.
The victory relieved some pressure on Boeung Ket following their Cup loss to NagaWorld and a league defeat before that to Ministry of National Defence.
The team now retains thier one-point advantage over Naga as Vishaka drop down four behind to third in the table.
There was a shock in store for Army in Siem Reap, where hosts Soltilo Angkor held them to a 2-2 draw.
Just past the hour, Army seemingly had the game sewn up, with goals from Khem Khemrin and Na Hyo-sung, but Soltilo refused to capitulate.
Long Phearith got one back in the 72nd minute and Abban James scored deep in stoppage time to tie the scores at 2-2.
With the help of Valci Junior’s brace and goals from In So David and Pov Punvuthy, Crown cruised past Electricite du Cambodge 4-0.
Meanwhile, the draw for the semifinals of the prestigious Hun Sen Cup at Olympic Stadium on Monday morning pitted last year’s beaten finalists Naga against 2016 champs Army outfit. The high profile clash between two past winners will be held on September 1.
In the second semi the following day, 2014 winners National Police take on Siem Reap-based Angkor Tiger, who are playing at this level for the first time.