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Lowly Kirivong stun Crown in upset of the season as Boeung Ket take top spot

Soeung Virak of Cambodia Tiger is tackled by Nen Sotheroth of Svay Rieng at Western Stadium on Thursday. Svay Rieng won the match 3-0.
Soeung Virak of Cambodia Tiger is tackled by Nen Sotheroth of Svay Rieng at Western Stadium on Thursday. Svay Rieng won the match 3-0. Sreng Meng Srun

Lowly Kirivong stun Crown in upset of the season as Boeung Ket take top spot

In the biggest upset of the Metfone C League season so far, bottom side Kirivong Sok Sen Chey stunned leaders Phnom Penh Crown 2-1, with the winning goal coming deep into injury time at the RSN Stadium late on Thursday evening.

The form book was turned upside down by Kirivong, who have conceded 60 goals in 18 matches, two less than Crown’s scoring tally of 62 in as many, a statistic that makes the outcome all the more extraordinary.

Kirivong stole a march through Tunji Ayoyinka past the half-hour mark but before the break, Keo Sokpheng brought Crown on level terms.

After several prominent Crown attempts failed to bear fruit, the game took a decisive turn in favour of the visitors just moments before the end of the eight minutes of added time.

Em Phanna, who Crown claimed had earlier escaped a red card for a deliberate handball, drilled in the winner for Kirivong to give the side some joy in what has been a tottering campaign.

While Crown fell to their first home defeat and only second in 18 outings, Boeung Ket Angkor bounced back from a goal down to beat Nagaworld 2-1 on the back of super-sub Chan Vathanaka’s second-half brace at the floodlit Olympic Stadium.

After a highly combative first half that saw plenty of action and near misses at both ends, Kim Borey gave NagaWorld the lead in the 57th minute, but that joy proved short-lived.

The two-time champions were fortunate to see a Chan Vathanaka free kick carom off the woodwork, but that clearly was a merely sample of his striking power.

What followed were two well-executed hits by Vathanaka, who last Saturday turned a likely defeat into a draw away at Svay Rieng Boeung Ket replace Crown at the top of the table on goal difference. Both have amassed 42 points, although Boeung Ket have a game in hand against MND.

Elsewhere, Svay Rieng made a profitable trip to the Western Stadium where they comprehensively beat third-placed Cambodian Tiger FC 3-0.

The win has pitched Svay Rieng strongly into the battle for a spot in the Super Four playoffs that follow the league format, one in which a possible five clubs have a chance of securing one of the two remaining places as Crown and Boeung Ket are nailed-on certainties.

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