Kirivong Sok Sen Chey stated their intent on taking fifth in the CPL Saturday with a 2-0 win over Phouchung Neak, while Crown’s Ayoyinka returns at the double
Phouchung Neak's Wilson Mene (left) and Heng Sokly (centre) battle with Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s Ngel Gofar during their match Saturday at Olympic Stadium.
WITH qualification into the Super 4 more or less out of reach, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey confirmed their intention to take the lucrative fifth spot with a 2-0 victory over relegated Phouchung Neak in the early CPL kickoff Saturday.
The Navy team, still looking to record their first victory of the season, were put under pressure from the kickoff, with Kirivong's Hang Chantrea and Pech Sophaseth missing chances in a goalmouth scramble inside four minutes.
Phouchung eventually settled to start pushing forward with more intent and purpose. Kirivong keeper Kem Makara was forced to rush out of his box to clear twice in quick succession, after his defence had been split by long balls.
Navy continued taking potshots from distance, with captain Kao Niso and Pouv Ratha seeing their shots saved by the Kirivong keeper.
Both sides were struggling to take control of the game. A minute before the break, Kirivong's Vietnamese import Vin Nhektoeung did everything right by turning his marker, only to force his shot wide to sum up a drab first half.
The second period began with greater verve, with Phouchung's Wilson Mene spurning a clear-cut chance three minutes after the restart. They were made to pay for their shortcomings 10 minutes later when their defence went to sleep, allowing Vin all the time and space to cut into the area before sending a low drive past keeper Thai Sineth.
The goal did much to boost Kirivong's confidence, who took the game to the Navy side from there on out. Substitute In Vicheka shot off target from a Julius Chukwumeka through ball.
However, Phouchung almost grabbed an equaliser when Tith Dina fought his way past two Kirivong defenders, but shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Again, Navy were made to pay as Kirivong's Ouk Thorn was given passage into the area before unleashing into the bottom corner to seal victory for the Takeo-based side.
Phnom Penh Crown's Phuong Narong (left) celebrates with his teammate after scoring against Build Bright United.
BBU 0-2 Phnom Penh Crown
Having returned to Cambodia from a failed trip to Turkey just 24 hours before kickoff, Phnom Penh Crown's Tunji Ayoyinka played his part in a 3-1 victory over hard-fighting Build Bright University (BBU) Saturday.
Crown were gifted an early goal inside six minutes, after the game had started in a much faster pace than the earlier fixture. BBU's In Puthearith fumbled as he tried to dribble, and the ball fell in the path of Phuong Narong, who struck a thunderbolt from 30 yards out, which goalkeeper Peng Bunchay had no answer to.
Despite a downpour, BBU were determined to fight back. Ayoyinka missed for Crown at one end, and Augustine Ogbemi did the same for BBU at the other.
BBU were then gifted a goal inside the half-hour mark. A long hoof over the defensive line saw Ogbemi push Tieng Tiny into the on rushing Peng Bunchay, and with the Crown teammates colliding, play was waved on to leave Ogbemi to slot into the empty net.
Four minutes before the interval, substitute Chan Rithy was allowed to run the defence, get to the byline, and make a cross into the 6-yard box for Nigerian Ayoyinka to knock home to put Crown back in the lead.
With the rain subsiding during the break, Crown manager Makara Be reshuffled his defence, but saw Ayoyinka squander numerous chances up front.
BBU began to dominate possession, confining Crown to their own half, with Nigerian duo Ogbemi and Cliff Goodluck terrorising the defence and forcing keeper Peng Bunchay to make several daring saves.
However, BBU couldn't find the leveler and with virtually the last kick of the game, Ayonyinka put the game to bed after being granted acres of space to control a cross from Chan Rithy to pick his spot past Chhim Rotha.
Crown boss Makara Be said he was "happy with the result, but not the way we played", adding that he was testing out some new tactics ahead of Wednesday's game against Bangkok Glass in the Singapore Cup.
"We wanted to build understanding amongst the players who have not really featured in the league," Makara Be said. "Now we can work on the mistakes."
Meanwhile, BBU coach Meas Samoeun also blamed his defence in his postmatch reaction and rued the missed opportunities of his strikers. "My defence let me down when it mattered most," he said. "They gave away the ball too easily and allowed Phnom Penh [Crown] attackers free space inside the box."
"If we'd have taken our chances, we would have won this game," Meas Samoeun remarked.
Photo by: NICK SELLS (www.nicksellsphotography.com)