Six-time champions Phnom Penh Crown had an old Metfone C-League score to settle against National Defense Ministry, and they took the first opportunity that presented itself this season to do just that in Saturday’s early kick-off at Olympic Stadium.
Second-half goals from young In Sodavid and new club signing from Lesotho Tsotleho “Sunny” Jane in injury time ensured a 2-0 win for Crown over an Army side who had beaten them twice during last season’s double-round league stage.
For Sodavid, who will shed his teens in July, the goal he scored approaching the hour-mark was a reaffirmation of his potential as one of the Kingdom’s most dependable midfielders, having represented the country at senior, under-22 and under-19 levels, though the only goal he had scored before Saturday was all the way back in 2016.
With Cambodia’s trip to Tajikistan for the Afghanistan clash in the Asian Cup qualifiers getting closer, Sodavid’s good showing in the league could fit into national coach Prak Sovannara’s well advertised intentions of giving young players a break at the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy U21 tournament Cambodia will be taking part in Brunei in April.
It was also important for Jane to get onto the scoresheet in this important game and prove his worth early in the season.
If Boeung Ket were looking for an ideal tune-up ahead of their big March 14 clash with Home United in Singapore, they could not have hoped for anything better than an easy 3-1 victory over Western Phnom Penh.
Having dusted themselves off after two defeats, Boeung Ket rediscovered their winning touch against Home United last Tuesday with a 3-2 win that now gives them a slender one-goal advantage in the return clash.
But more importantly the team managed to keep their spirits high by outplaying Western with goals from well-known sources.
Julius Oiboh has been turning in very good performances both as a scorer and provider. He got the team’s first goal.
Khun Laboravy scored the second, and Maycon Calijuri, the man in the best of touch at the moment, rounded off the tally.
The late consolation for Western came through Korean Yoon Sug-hee in the 83rd minute, long after Boeung Ket had put the game beyond them.
At Olympic Stadium, Soltilo Angkor’s 71st minute goal from Dzarma Bata was quickly neutralized by Tomohiro two minutes later, and Asia Europe United built on the momentum, with Marie Privat nailing the match-winner at the stroke of regulation time.