NEWCOMERS Spark FC made a dream start to the Premier League season following promotion from Division A1 to force a 2-2 draw against Hun Sen Cup runnersup Naga Corp Sunday at Olympic Stadium.
Spark's Justine Prince blasted his team in front in the 15th minute after some selfish play, shunning the opportunity to pass to teammates.
Naga struck back to level the score through national team midfielder Sun Sovannarith with 7 minutes to go in the half. Just 3 minutes after the restart, Naga took the lead through club captain Om Thavarak. The national team defender directed his header past the Spark keeper off a Kim Chanbunrith freekick.
Spark kept playing with determination, and Justin Prince found his way through the Naga defence to net his second goal on the hour mark.
With the scoreline locked at 2-2, Spark players did their best to run out the clock while their opponents unsuccessfully pressed for the win.
Preah Khan Reach (PKR) went top of the CPL after beating Phouchung Neak 3-0 in a result that mirrored their third-place playoff match in the recent Hun Sen Cup on March 21. PKR striker Khoun Laboravy, who also stars in the national team, scored just before the interval and Alex Ikeduba scored twice in the second half with the defence keeping a clean sheet after Phouchung attackers missed their attempts.
The crowd attendance was depleted after fans were annoyed Saturday by the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) introducing a new admission price of 4,000 riels (US$0.97). "One dollar is so expensive for me. If the FFC continue to do this, I think that the match will be played without visitors. I'll [only] pay 1,000 riels," complained one visitor.
The FFC said that they are selling tickets to generate more income for organising tournaments.
Tickets for weekend matches cost 4,000 riels with Wednesday games priced at 2,000 riels.