Kirivong Sok Sen Chey obliterate Wat Phnom 6-1 on Saturday while a top of the table shakeup Sunday sees Build Bright United claim top spot with their victory
Phnom Penh Crown’s Friday Nwankuna (left) drives past National Defence Ministry’s Ieng Pisith during their Metfone C-League match Sunday at Olympic Stadium. The game ended 1-1.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s In Vichika (left) and Wat Phnom’s Nathan Nwaowu (right) challenge for the ball during their game Saturday.
Build Bright United’s Chan Veasna (right) clears the ball past Preah Khan Reach’s Sam El Nasa during their league match Sunday.
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
THE warm feeling of success from their midweek win over Khemara carried on into the first thirty seconds of Saturday’s Metfone C-League game for Wat Phnom, up against a Kirivong Sok Sen Chey line-up eager to get their own season back on track.
The spectators barely had time to breathe after kickoff, as Wat Phnom skipper Phlong Chanthou rose high above the static Kirivong defence to head home Chhun Mesa’s deep free kick to give them an early head start. It was their third game within seven days.
It didn’t take long for Kirivong to get back into the game and on six minutes, In Vichheka stole in to toe-poke the ball under goalkeeper Sin Pisal from Un Sopheak’s knock-down. Vichheka had moments earlier headed against the upright from close range, so he was relieved to get a second bite of the cherry.
Despite being without leading scorer Julius Chukwumeka, Kirivong looked dangerous in attack and on 21 minutes they took a deserved lead. A long ball from Bryan Edem was pounced on by Un Speak and he elbowed his way past two defenders but lost his balance as he shot, only to see his effort trickle over the goal-line.
An audacious 40-yard chip from Wat Phnom’s Phoeurn Saorum and a header from Phlong Chanthou found keeper Keum Makara on top form in the Kirivong goal and equal to the best efforts before the half-time interval.
It was pretty much one-way traffic after the break, with Kirivong dominating proceedings. Ten minutes in and In Vichheka claimed his second after robbing Sun Meng Hout and slipping his shot neatly under the body of Sin Pisal. Vichheka is getting back to his best form after a year-long injury lay-off and showed some neat touches throughout.
Six minutes later, Felix Ndukwe fired home from six yards out after Tes Sophat’s shot had been deflected into his path.
Within a minute, Ndukwe had his second neatly wrapped up when he burst through onto a Vichheka pass, strong-armed his way past two defenders and confidently rolled his effort inside the near post for Kirivong’s fifth. In the last minute Ndukwe missed a glorious opportunity to claim a hat trick when his run from the half-way line was thwarted by a last gasp save from Wat Phnom stopper Sin Pisal.
In between, on 79 minutes, Sen Kamsen was the recipient of an act of kindness by Sin Pisal, when he made a complete hash of Uk Thun’s cross and handed the Kirivong striker an invitation to an open goal which he took with pleasure to seal a comprehensive win.
Phnom Penh Crown 1 MND 1
The eagerly-awaited match up between the two top teams in the Metfone C-league turned into a stalemate as honours were shared at Olympic Stadium Sunday. The heat and humidity was a problem for both sides, who cancelled each other out for much of the game and produced few real goalmouth chances at either end of the pitch.
The Phnom Penh Crown line-up had an unusual look with just one foreigner in the starting line-up and top goalscorer Uche Prince Justine relegated to keeping the bench warm, while the National Defence Ministry (MND) were at full strength.
Justine’s replacement in attack, Srey Veasna repaid his coach’s faith in his inclusion by opening the scoring on 23 minutes, though Samreth Seiha will be kicking himself for leaving his near post unguarded in the Army goal. Keo Chea’s forty-yard crossfield pass gave Veasna the opportunity to scamper into the box and outfox Seiha with a neat finish.
At the other end, Phuong Soksana fluffed a beaut of a chance when he tried to lob Crown stopper Peng Bunchhay when a first-time shot would’ve been more effective. Five minutes before the interval, MND drew level when Sin Dalin rifled in a shot from ten yards out after the Crown defence failed to deal competently with a Pheak Rady center. All square at the half-time break was a fair reflection of the first period.
The second half was less eventful, though both goalkeepers had to be on their mettle to deny efforts from Army’s Khim Borey and Crown’s Hong Ratana. Justine entered the fray just after the hour mark, injecting some much-needed gusto into the Crown attack, but his wayward shooting failed to find the target and break the deadlock.
In the final minute, MND nearly stole the points when Um Kompheak’s drilled shot went through the body of Peng Bunchhay and rolled towards the goal-line, only for the goalkeeper to recover and spare his blushes.
The final whistle signified a share of the spoils with Crown retaining top spot, a point ahead of MND.
BBU 2 Preah Khan Reach 1
Build Bright United (BBU) have been the surprise package in the Metfone C-League this season, and were poised to grab top spot if they could gain a win over Preah Khan Reach (PKR), who like BBU had won four of their six league games so far.
The first half produced little quality play from either team and much of the action was bogged down in midfield. Augustine Ogbeni looked the most dangerous player on the pitch for BBU, and with more composure his header late in the half would’ve given his team the lead.
The goals came in a rush midway through the second half after PKR had wasted a good opportunity when Kao Kiry rounded BBU keeper Hem Simay, but mishit his shot with the goal at his mercy.
On 72 minutes, a debatable penalty award for handball against Moul Daravorn allowed BBU skipper Prum Pusethy to fire home the spot-kick with some aplomb. However, the kick was ordered to be retaken for encroachment and a change of penalty-taker saw Nuth Sinoun make no mistake either.
Three minutes later and Sinoun was on hand to lash home Putsethy’s pull-back for his and BBU’s second, with the PKR defence all out to sea.
With just three more minutes left on the clock, PKR reduced the deficit through their 16-year-old protege Chan Vathanaka, who headed home from the edge of the box after Hem Simay had punched away a cross-shot from Sok Chanrasmey.
PKR redoubled their efforts to find the equalizer, but for once their skipper Sam El Nasa failed in front of goal when he fluffed three good chances in the final few minutes. Hem Simay forced him wide with the best chance of the trio, as El Nasa sped away from the trailing defenders but found the angle too acute and fired despairingly into the side-netting.
BBU’s victory lifts the unfancied collegiate team above Phnom Penh Crown and the Army to the league summit, with a point advantage over Crown.