NagaWorld’s high profile signing of former Japanese junior international Tatsuro Inui at the beginning of the season came with high expectations, and the 27-year-old striker delivered two notable blows late on to ensure a comfortable 3-0 victory over Angkor Tiger in Saturday’s Metfone C-League fixture at Olympic Stadium.
Following on from last week’s 5-1 win over Electricite du Cambodge on the back of a George Bisan hat-trick, the casino-backed side took time to get going, but once they did, they controlled the tempo of the game.
It was in the first minute of added time before the break that Nigerian Mathew Osa put Naga ahead.
While Naga dictated terms, the Tigers were by no means passive but were undone by strong Naga defending and poor finishing.
And in the last 20 minutes Inui put his stamp on the match with a 71st minute goal to double Naga’s lead.
He went on to complete his brace a minute before the final whistle.
Overpowered by Army in the league semifinal playoff and beaten on penalties by Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng in the Hun Sen Cup final, NagaWorld are looking for a happier time of things this season, one which began on a rather pedestrian note when they were held goalless by rivals Svay Rieng in the opener.
But they will go into the two-week break in a better frame of mind having won matches back-to-back in decent style.
Meanwhile, National Defence Ministry were out to get back to winning ways after being outplayed by Phnom Penh Crown in their previous outing.
Taking on Asia Europe United, the Army stormed into a 14th minute lead through midfielder Phoung Soksana, and early in the second half Japan’s Yudai Ogawa cushioned the score.
Despite the consistent Marie Privat threatening to bring AEU back into the match with a 64th minute goal, the Army stoically rode home their advantage for a 2-1 win..
The road trip from Siem Reap to the capital proved a productive one for new entrants to the top flight Soltilo Angkor, a team created as part of Japanese star Keisuke Honda’s dream project in Cambodia.
The team came away with an emphatic 4-1 win over Western.
Nigerian Dzarma Bata struck as early as the eighth minute to give Soltilo the advantage.
Soltilo went into the break 2-0 up after Japanese signing Unno Tomoyuki cushioned the lead, and defender Vat Samnang added one more just before the hour mark.
South Korean Yoon Sug-hee reduced the deficit for Western but Ly Arifin killed off the game in injury time with Soltilo’s fourth.