Phnom Penh Crown’s Uche Prince Justine (centre) heads in his first goal past Build Bright United keeper Sos Pros Him (left) during their league match.
Phnom Penh Crown’s Uche Prince Justine performs a somersault in celebration after scoring his second goal against Build Bright United.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s Julius Ononiwu attempts a cross during the Metfone C-League match against Khemara Keila. Ononiwu scored twice Saturday to see him become the league’s top scorer on 19.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s Ouk Thun (front, left) and Khemara Keila’s Sok Vannak (right) get the ball stuck between their knees during their match at Olympic Stadium Saturday. Photos by Sreng Meng Srun
PP Crown 3 Build Bright United 1
Nigerian striker Uche Prince Justine showed his striking prowess with two splendid goals in a span of three minutes on either side of the interval to seal a 3-1 victory for Phnom Penh Crown over a markedly dour Build Bright United in their Metfone C-League clash at Olympic Stadium.
Crown’s ninth win from 14 outings ensured their unbeaten record stayed intact to put them a clear second in the league standings, two points behind Naga Corp.
BBU drifted back to third after going into the match level with Crown on 29 points each.
It was evident from the start Saturday that Crown by far were the stronger and craftier of the teams. BBU’s sporadic break-ins promised a lot but delivered very little.
The opener came from an opportunistic strike by Crown’s Sok Pheng as early as the 12th minute. The freewheeling frontman nodded in, making the most of a dangerous floating cross from Chan Dara.
Barely minutes before half time, Justine produced a header of top quality, springing high to meet a Sun Sophana curling cross from the left. A minute after the change of ends, the Nigerian weaved his way through the traffic, side stepping at least two defenders to plant a firm, low strike in the far corner. He then treated fans to a double of somersaults in jubilation.
With a Justine hat trick looming and the game already beyond doubt, BBU managed to pull one back through a gift from Crown keeper Peng Bunchhay. The stopper fumbled to allow Nelson Oladiji to knock the loose ball home.
Kirivong SSC 3 Khemara Keila 1
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey proved too classy for Khemara Keila in Saturday’s second fixture, with striker Julius Ononiwu taking his season’s tally to 19 goals thanks to a second-half brace.
In Vichhika’s seventh-minute strike helped compliment the Nigerian’s double, while Khemara’s Kuoch Sokumpheak scored a header in the 77th minute to reduce the margin in a game where fast shifting midfield patterns led to some exciting moves for both sides.
Kirivong’s Vietnamese coach Nguyeng Chau Hong said he was “happy with the result,” but expressed his team’s intent to finish within the top four come the end of the regular season.
“My message to the team is simple and straight. We have to look for a place in the Super 4, and we have to win the next four matches,” he said.
Khemara coach Solomon Demagudu, meanwhile, came down heavily on his forwards, citing “tactical indiscipline” for their loss.
“We had so many chances,” he said.
“When you get the ball in the goal mouth, you have to take shots. You don’t joke with the ball. Our players were doing it most of the time. That’s not what I wanted; that’s a tactical blunder. I hope they learn from this and do better in the next game.”
Saturday’s result maintained both team’s position in the league, with Takeo based Kirivong in fifth place on 24 points and Khemara in seventh on 14 points.