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Crown, Naga stay on top

TriAsia’s Kihara Masakazu (left) clashes with Western University goalkeeper Ngoy Boranuch and defender I Kolawole
TriAsia’s Kihara Masakazu (left) clashes with Western University goalkeeper Ngoy Boranuch and defender I Kolawole during their Metfone C-League game yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Sreng Meng Srun

Crown, Naga stay on top

The top two in this season’s Metfone C-League standings, Phnom Penh Crown and Naga Corp, head for the ensuing two-week Khmer New Year break in high spirits after winning their matches by the narrowest of margins at different venues on Saturday.

For the second week running, striker George Bisan produced the only goal that would settle the issue in favour of Crown, this time against a rugged National Police Commissary at the Olympic Stadium.

His 55th-minute strike, the spadework for which was done by Kouch Sokumpheak, put his side ahead and they stoically stayed there to pick up three valuable points.

Though Crown missed out on a few more promising chances to solidify their advantage, Sou Yaty under the bar came up with two splendid saves towards the end to ensure a clean sheet.

This was the second straight defeat for Police after their maiden triumph in the Hun Sen Cup last month.

In the other fixture at the Olympic Stadium, goals were at a premium yet again as Cup runners-up Build Bright United eked out a 1-0 win over Kirivong Sok Sen Chey.

The victory saw Crown retain their hold at the top of the heap on goal difference with Naga, who edged past defending champions Svay Rieng 1-0 at the Old Stadium. Both Crown and Naga have so far tallied 19 points from eight games.

After a barren first half, Naga’s South Korean import Jang In Yong came up with a 58th minute goal that turned out to be his team’s match-winner.

In the day’s first game at the Old Stadium, Asia Europe University assumed absolute control of their match against Albirex Niigata by scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes and then extending the margin to a 3-1 victory.

George Kelechi fired the first salvo for the University side in the 12th minute doubling the score in the 20th to give his side a healthy half time lead.

On resumption, Than Dara Pech stretched the gains to three goals by the 68th minute, leaving Albirex to fight a lost cause.

However, the table trailers managed to pick up a consolation goal through Tatsuta Kazuki with six minutes of regulation time left.

Down by a goal for nearly half an hour, TriAsia managed a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Western University at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.

The University side shot into the lead through Privat Mbarga at the 52nd minute and were riding out their advantage with a smell of victory in the air.

But their calculations went wrong when TriAsia levelled the score with a good strike from Kihara Masakazu.

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