Phnom Penh Crown’s Tieng Tiny (right) attempts a shot over the head of his teammate Kouch Sokumpheak while Rithy Sen keeper Oum Veasna closes them down during their Metfone C-League match yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Crown strolled to a 9-0 victory. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Defending champions Phnom Penh Crown turned their second fixture in the Metfone C-League into a goal glut against lowly Rithy Sen yesterday with Nigerian hitman Kingsley Njoku plundering a hat-trick in the side’s 9-0 annihilation at Olympic Stadium.
In less than five minutes, the striker ripped the Rithy Sen backline open with some splendid footwork and body feints to notch up three goals in rapid succession after Kouch Sokumpheak and Sun Sopanha had dented the Kampong Chhnang team’s morale minutes earlier.
Soung Virak then fired Crown’s sixth before the breather.
With Crown piling on the pressure, the Rithy Sen goal bulged yet again when Soung Virak completed his brace on 49 minutes. Only then did the Crown guns seem to fall silent.
A combination of hasty finishes and some dour defending arrested the scoreline until Rithy Sen were dealt another cruel blow in the form of losing Tam Yousos to a straight red card for a reckless challenge.
For a few anxious minutes, the 10-man Rithy Sen managed to keep the marauding Crown strike force at bay. But substitute Sok Pheng cut through a fragile cordon to bag Crown’s eighth goal and Hong Ratana rounded off the tally.
For nearly the entire length of this whip-lashing encounter, the provincial newcomers were so badly pinned inside their own half that their frontliners couldn’t even get a peek at the Crown goal. However, the one chance they received to take the ball into the 18-yard-box saw Sum Sokhy drive it straight at keeper Hong Visokra.
Cup holders held by Sharks
Beware of the Sea Sharks was the most common refrain after a highly enterprising Chhlam Samuth swallowed another big reputation by holding 2011 Hun Sen Cup winners Preah Khan Reach to a dramatic 1-1 draw in yesterday’s first game.
The shock defeat that the Cup runners up Build Bright United suffered last week at the hands of the Sea Sharks seemed to have acted as an elixir for this scratch combination of players as the Military Police backed PKR found to their chagrin.
After a barren first half during which both sides traded some fierce punches in terms of target shooting, a peach of a solo effort by PKR live wire Khoun Laboravy handed them the advantage.
The crafty winger sold a perfect dummy to two of his pursuers San Thydet and Chhim Bunsan, before edging closer to the six-yard box to find the mark in style.
The goal prompted a change of guard on the left wing to shadow Laboravy, and Nigerian Maxwell Woko came in as a substitute to reinforce the defence. Not only did he keep the Golden Boots winner quiet, but he also produced a magical back heel to grab a stunning equaliser.
A Pouv Samnang drive at goal landed at Woko’s feet, and the Nigerian took a swift turn to direct the ball from his heel into the net, leaving the entire PKR backline dumbstruck.
The leveller completely turned the complexion of the game, and it was the Sharks who were now prowling PKR territory with menacing intent.
Paul Abasode excelled in the midfield for Chhlam Samuth and Sanni Dauda very nearly produced a match winner, his long ranger sailing inches over the bar.
At the other end Phany Rotha threatened to seal the tie with his sharp header that just went over.