Touching their near best, defending champions Phnom Penh Crown put the skids on frontrunners Ministry of National Defence, ending the Army outfit’s four-game winning streak in the Metfone C League with a 2-1 victory at the Old Stadium on Saturday.
After a strong first-half showing, Crown stoutly guarded their advantage, withstanding intense Army pressure in the closing stages.
It was Leng Makara’s header off a Seut Baraing free kick that fired Crown to a 34th minute lead after George Kelechi had led the attacking force with vigour in the early stages
Combination play between Keo Sokngon and Pov Ponvuthy set up Kelechi to score side’s second goal as half-time approached.
While a couple of gilt-edged chances were wasted by Crown, Ke Vannak did well for the Army in cueing up an accurate centre and North Korean Myong-ho Choe polished off the move in the 74th minute.
The goal raised the intensity of the game as Army’s efforts to save their unbeaten record increased, but Crown’s defence remained unbreached.
Keo Sokpheng and Bin Thierry, on the sidelines due to injury, managed to grab some useful game time.
Svay Rieng top table
With pace-setting Army stumbling badly, the path was clear for Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng to the table They did that in style by beating Western Phnom Penh 3-1 at the Western Stadium yesterday.
Midfielder Chea Samnang’s double strike played a major role in PKR’s dominant display as Sam Oeun Pidor added his name to the scoresheet. Western’s lone goal came via a Matthew Osa penalty.
In yesterday’s afternoon fixture at the Olympic Stadium, National Police managed to turn a seemingly untenable situation into an honourable 2-2 draw against Cambodian Mines Action Center.
After two defeats and a draw in four outings, NagaWorld greeted their 1-0 win over Asia Europe United on Friday with relief. Though the two time champions picked up the full points, thanks to Tum Saray’s 84th minute match winner, they laboured to victory.
Goals from Khuon Laboravy and Chan Vathanaka helped Boeung Ket Angkor bounce back from a goal down to beat Cambodian Tiger FC in the late tie at a floodlit Olympic Stadium yesterday after Yoshihara Masato had given the Tigers the lead. But Khuon Laboravy restored parity and minutes later the ebulient Chan Vathanaka sealed the deal.
While victory came as a timely present for the New Year break, there was concern in the Boeung Ket camp about the possible impact of a reckless foul by In Vichhai on Vathanaka minutes after he had nailed the match winner.
The precocious striker who was in blazing form last season scoring more than 60 goals in all competitions, but has had niggling injury worries, hit the groud writhing in pain and was later taken off on a stretcher.
The win moved Boeung Ket to joint second in the table with MND behind leaders Svay Rieng.