Kirivong Sok Sen Chey blast off from the midterm break with a stunning 4-1 win over Build Bright United Saturday; Preah Khan Reach thrash Chhma Khmao 5-1
Preah Khan Reach’s Khounla Boravy (left) hits a free kick during the match against Chhma Khmao at Olympic Stadium Saturday.
Kirivong Sok Sen Chay’s new Vietnamese signing Chaing Kong Yann (centre) dribbles past Build Bright United defenders during their Metfone C-League clash at Olympic Stadium Saturday.
Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellphotography.com)
METFONE C-League leaders Build Bright United (BBU) came into their first match of the second round Saturday on a high, a point above their nearest title rivals and keen to show their league standing was no fluke. Their opponents, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, had endured an indifferent first half of the season and looked to a trio of new signings to bolster their aim to catch the teams above them.
It was Kirivong who drew first blood at Olympic Stadium, and the goal surprised everyone after ten minutes. Midfield playmaker Lam Thanh Giang tried his luck from thirty yards, and his lofted shot caught BBU keeper Hen Simay a couple of yards off his goal line.
Five minutes later, the Takeo-based team scored a second to consolidate their fine start to the match. New Vietnamese import Chaing Kong Yann was already causing BBU problems with his pace, and his mazy run and pass allowed Julius Chukwumeka to poke the ball wide of Hem Simay, despite BBU claims for offside.
BBU recovered their composure and reduced the deficit on twenty minutes, or so everyone in the ground except the match officials thought. Chan Veasna measured his chip to perfection from 25 yards out, the ball struck the crossbar and bounced behind the goal line. However, referee Khoun Virak and his assistant failed to spot the obvious and waved play on to the astonishment of everyone, especially BBU keeper Hem Simay who ran sixty yards to remonstrate with the officials, but to no avail.
On the half hour, Kirivong effectively sealed the outcome of the game with their third. In Vichheka took the ball off the toe of BBU’s Nhim Sovanara and was hauled down by keeper Hem Simay, recovered and was then clattered again by a combination of Simay and Sovanara. Julius Chukwumeka stepped up and converted the penalty kick to move to the top of the league’s goalscoring charts with 11 goals.
Referee Khoun Virak took exception to Kirivong skipper Tes Sophat’s fall in the penalty box five minutes before the interval, brandishing a second yellow card to the midfielder in the space of five minutes to warrant a red. In the closing moments of the half, BBU came close to pulling one back when substitute Nelson Oladiji missed the target twice when well placed.
BBU began the second half with purpose with Oladiji, their new signing from Khemara, in the thick of the action. After two early efforts had gone begging, he was on hand to turn the ball over the goal line on the hour after a lofted cross was fumbled by Kirivong keeper Kun Thnou.
Kirivong weathered their opponents’ revival and sealed the result in the final two minutes through new boy Chaing Kong Yann. He skipped away from his marker, leaving both defenders and goalkeeper Hem Simay in his wake as he netted a cracking solo goal on his debut. By this time BBU were in disarray having lost Rim Bunhieng to a red card on 81 minutes for a second bookable offence and then substitute Ung Marady shown a straight red card for a high kick on Chaing Kong Yann as he continued to torment the league leaders.
Chhma Khmao 1 PKR 5
Preah Khan Reach (PKR) moved into fourth spot, leapfrogging the Ministry of National Defence, with this straightforward win Saturday over the Metfone C-League’s bottom club Chhma Khhmao from Svay Rieng province.
It was all one-way traffic in the first half as PKR started brightly and kept up the tempo. Tum Saray opened the scoring on 16 minutes when he recovered quickly to force the ball over the line after his initial effort was blocked by Black Cat’s goalkeeper Chhay Rasmey Sovanara. Both Tum Saray and Devide Njoku were guilty of leaving their shooting boots at home, with efforts flying high and wide as they kept their opponents on the back foot.
Just after the hour, it was pressure from Tum Saray and Chea Samnang that forced defender Pao Ratha to score an own goal when his attempted clearance nestled in the corner of his own net.
With a couple of minutes left on the clock before the interval, Khuon Laboravy continued his rich vein of scoring when he rounded off a pass from Tum Saray with a cool finish to give PKR a three goal cushion.
Chham Khmao sensed a whiff of a comeback when they scored two minutes into the second half. Substitute But Chanra added some zest to the attack and his square pass was gleefully accepted by Meak Chhordaravuth to reduce the backlog.
Ten minutes later the Black Cat’s task was made even harder when they lost their inspirational skipper Pao Phearith to a second yellow for a tap on the ankles of Khuon Laboravy.
There was no way back for Chhma Khmao as PKR used their extra man to good advantage and saw out the game with two more goals in the last seven minutes. Devide Njoku tried his luck again from distance, and this time his 25-yard effort sailed in for PKR’s fourth.
A young man beginning to make a name for himself, Chan Vathanaka, netted the fifth two minutes before the end. The 16-year-old appeared just after half-time, and his silky skills augur well for the future. He was nicely positioned to finish off a burst into the box by Khuon Laboravy, who then had time to miss two sitters himself before the final whistle blew.