After a string of disappointing results in the last few weeks, defending champions Boeung Ket shook off the demons and touched their near best in the second half of the Metfone C-League season to post a 3-1 win over National Police at Olympic Stadium yesterday.
Another shock seemed to be heading Boeung Ket’s way when Nov Soseila gave Police an unexpectedly bold start with a third-minute goal. But Boeung Ket saw the red flag soon enough and swiftly swung into action.
There has been so much pressure on young Chan Vathanaka that the 19-year-old striker had to produce something valuable out of his bag to jeeve himself up, and he did that commendably well by giving Boeung Ket the ninth minute equaliser the side so desperately needed.
In the first minute of added time before the first half, the ever consistent Bisan George doubled the lead to ensure that his team-mates felt more relaxed in the locker room during the breather.
Nothing would have pleased coach Prak Vuthy more than that healthy lead Boeung Ket carried into the second session and George was back again in the 65th minute to bulge the net to the collective relief of the Boeung Ket camp.
His brace took his personal tally to 16 goals, two clear of Khuon Laboravy of Svay Rieng. In the race for the top scorers, Dutchman Ellroy van der Hooft of Phnom Penh Crown is third with 10 goals from far fewer matches than the top two.
Build Bright United pulled down another heavyweight in Naga Corp in yesterday’s second fixture which ended 2-1. The University-backed side stunned the two time champions with a last gasp match winner after the sides had shared a goal each.
The decisive moment for BBU came deep into injury time when Daniel Omachoko turned a game heading to a certain draw into a sensational victory.
Within the first five minutes, Naga were pushed on the defensive when Chan Chhaya gave BBU a dream start. Naga managed to draw level in the 55th minute through Teab Vathanak and held their own until that fateful moment.
Boeung Ket head the standings with 34 points from 15 games ahead of Svay Rieng, who despite losing two games back-to-back are still in second at 30. After Saturday’s 3-1 win over Svay Rieng, Crown are slotted third with 28 points from 15 matches, four clear of Naga in fourth. Kirivong Sok Sen Chey and BBU are tied at 24 points apiece for the fifth and sixth positions.
At Olympic Stadium on Saturday, Crown lost no time in grabbing the early initiative with Van der Hooft treating the Svay Rieng defensive lines with contempt. The Dutchman helped the former champions sign off the first session with two fantastic goals.
Armed with an advantage and Svay Rieng finding the going increasingly tough, Crown’s victory was put beyond doubt when Leng Makara rammed the third in the 76th minute.
Chasing a cause which was long lost, Svay Rieng got late consolation when Phany Rotha scored in injury time.
Trust the Army men to come out of the trenches in times of adversity. That is precisely what Ministry of National Defence have been doing in the second half of the season after the first was a near disaster.
Having taken Svay Rieng in their stride last week, the Army side got the better of Asia Europe University 2-1 on Saturday at the Old Stadium. Chhin Chhoeun and Phoung Soksana netted for MND while Sok Sengdara notched one for AEU.
Earlier on Saturday, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey were absolutely at ease, posting a 7-2 win over Senate. The only noteworthy piece of statistics for the bottom most team in the league was that they managed to score more than one goal.