An opportunistic strike by defender Nhim Sovanara helped visitors from Takeo province, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, score a slender 1-0 win over a fighting Asia Europe University in a Metfone C League tie at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
The goal that mattered came in the 51st minute when Sovanara found himself greeting a stray pass at the top of the box. When he nailed the chance it came as a huge relief to Kirivong, who had several frustrating experiences in front of the AEU goal.
This was Kirivong’s first win in two outings, having gone down in an eight goal thriller 3-5 to Preah Khan Reach last week.
Though newcomers, AEU, coming off a 5-1 loss to Boeung Ket in their opening game, put up a stout-hearted show against a decidedly better organised team. They came up short in the end.
In the day’s opening fixture, Preah Khan Reach and Build Bright United were locked goalless in a game where both sides showed enterprise in creating numerous chances but poor marksmanship in exploiting them.
It was hard work for both back ranks, and the two goalkeepers were kept on their toes most of the time.
The University-backed side will perhaps recall with some regret the chances Van Rina and Blong Chanthou missed, while PKR could possibly count Sok Chanraksmey’s failed attempt with an angular shot as their best chance.
Sar Sophea under the PKR bar and BBU goaltender Sos Broshim remained agile and alert and came up with several timely saves to keep the game on an even keel.
Defending champions Boeung Ket Rubber were in assailing form, drubbing new comers Senate Secretariat 10-1 at the same venue on Saturday as three other games featured during the week-end failed to produce decisive results.
Boeung Ket made their intentions clear in the first few minutes of the game when Darlington conjured two quick goals. Yob Romaton’s 27th-minute strike helped the holders to cross over with a 3-0 cushion. But Senate’s gloom deepened in the second half as Bisan George unleashed his fire power.
The nippy midfielder tormented the Senate backline no end as he fired one goal after another to complete an impressive five-timer. Keo Sokpheng and Chan Vathanaka chipped in with a goal each.
The only blemish, if at all it can be called that, was the champs failing to come away with a clean sheet as Ry Phearoeun scored Senate’s consolation goal.
Two-time champions Naga had to battle back from a goal down to share the spoils 1-1 with Ministry of National Defence at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
The Army men, who had staged a protest walkout against the National Police last week, shot into a 20th-minute lead when Phoung Soksana neatly converted a spot kick. The penalty for MND followed Naga goalkeeper Pich Vorinyothin’s hard tackle on MND’s Chhin Chhoeum.
Naga stumbled upon a penalty of their own in the 41st minute, but Choun Chum, who stepped in for the conversion, saw his kick well saved by Sou Yaty, who is also the first choice goalkeeper for the national team.
However, 12 minutes later Prak Chanratana produced the equaliser for Naga.
In the only game played at the Old Stadium on Saturday Four-time champions Phnom Penh Crown drew with National Police 1-1. It was a tale of two different halves. Crown dominated the first session, though they could not turn their creativity into goals. There was a sudden shift of balance towards the Police early in the second half, even as Noun Borey took the Police to the front.
Stung by this reverse Crown battled hard for the leveller and met with success in the 62nd minute, when Sos Sohannah made good a Kim Borey assist. A combative game, however, ended on a sour note when Police goal scorer Noun Borey was sent off the field during extra-time with a red card after lashing out at Crown’s Bin Thierry following a foul.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]
With assistance from Chris Derbuc