Although their season ended on a winning note against 2017 champions Boeung Ket, Phnom Penh Crown have announced they are parting with coach Sean Sainbury, who guided the team over the course of this year’s Metfone C-League season.
The-victory was bittersweet for six-time champions Crown, who ended the seson in mid-table – fifth on 36 points after a season dogged by erratic form.
Boeung Ket, back-to-back winners in 2016 and 2017, relinquished the Metfone C-League title to NagaWorld a week before the season formally ended on Sunday, and the side’s 2-1 loss to Crown in the final game would have added insult to injury.
the defeat made no impact on their second-place finish.
Orn Chanpolin’s 40th minute opener for Crown was added to by Valci Junior as late as the 89th minute. Boeung Ket struggled to find the net, and when they eventually did it proved not enough.
Boeung Ket finished runners-up with 49 points, seven behind NagaWorld.
Top-flight newcomers Visakha ended up on the wrong side of a nine-goal thriller at the Svay Rieng Stadium, going down 5-4 to home side Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng, who led 5-1 at half-time.
Nub Tola’s brace and a Hoy Phalin hat-trick proved too hot for Visakha to handle in the first half. But Keo Sokpheng, Ngoy Srin, Choe Myong-ho and San Kimheng gave the debutants hope of a comeback.
As Visakha were a long way ahead of fourth placed Ministry of National Defence, the defeat was more an irritant than a body blow. They finished third with 45 points.
The domestic cycle ends on Saturday with Army and National Police both battling to win Hun Sen Cup honours for a second time.
After the Pchum Ben break, the focus will then turn to the national team and to Japanese star Keisuke Honda’s influence and mentoring of his players as they begin their campaign in the prestigious AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
In the run-up to the regional tournament, two friendlies have been scheduled at the Olympic Stadium.
The Angkor Warriors will meet Timor-Leste in a warm-up match on October 12, followed four days later by a friendly with Singapore, before the Suzuki Cup opener against Malaysia on November 8.