Within days of signing for two-time champions NagaWorld, South Korean attacking midfielder Song Chi Hoon, who has a decent K-League resume behind him, fired a first-half brace to inspire the casino-backed side to a 4-0 win away to struggling Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on Saturday at the start of the second leg of the 2018 Metfone C-League season.
Not to be outdone, defending champions Boeung Ket, who are locked in a fierce fight with Naga at the top of the standings, retained their two-point lead with a 4-0 thrashing of Asia Europe United at the same time under lights at Olympic Stadium.
It was a rivalry watched with intense interest in matches more than a 100 miles apart.
Naga, eager to put behind them their heartbreaking loss to Boeung Ket and with it their top spot in the table, could not have asked for a brighter start after George Bisan found the net in the seventh minute.
Crown leave it late
The Nigerian is in such form that it came as no surprise that when the opportunity presented itself, he coolly converted.
Present all the way in the thick of action, the South Korean caught the eye by scoring his first goal for his new employers in the 18th minute before quickly completing his double 10 minutes later.
Though the 3-0 scoreline was a bitter pill for Svay Rieng, they did manage to keep the visitors quiet for most part of the second session until Bisan broke through in the 87th minute to complete the tally and his brace Boeung Ket extended their 12-match unbeaten run this year without much anxiety.
Julius Oiboh dominated the first half with a double and Maycon Calijuri stamped his mark with a brace of his own in the second half to add two plus two in the most impressive fashion possible, leaving Asia Europe United trailing all the way.
A stoppage time goal by Yeu Muslim gave Phnom Penh Crown a thrilling 2-1 win over hosts Soltilo Angkor at Siem Reap Stadium.
Neither side could find the net until late in the game. Soltilo stormed ahead in the 81st minute through a penalty but Crown levelled six minutes later to set up Muslim’s match-winning finale four minutes into time added on.