Preah Khan Reach flew to Shenzhen last week and won all four games.
AFTER losing to Khemara Keila in the semifinals of the Cambodian Premier League playoffs, Preah Khan Reach (PKR) bounced back to win an international tournament in Shenzhen, China last week. The competition featured teams from Thailand and Laos, and two teams from China, who took part in a five-team mini-league format.
The Cambodian club, playing without their foreign squad members in accordance with competition rules, won all four of their matches over the week.
In their first game September 15, PKR defeated Thai club Chiang Rai 3-2. The Cambodians took a two goal lead into the break thanks to winners from San Narith and Lay Raksmey, only to see the Thais fight back in the second half to level the scores, before PKR’s Khoun Laboravy won it for his side.
The second match last Thursday was a walkover for PKR, defeating Mekong River Team from Laos 2-0, with captain Samel Nasa and teenage star Prak Monyoudom finding the net.
The host city of Shenzhen provided two teams for the tournament, who both fell to the fire power of PKR.
Keo Kosal’s solitary goal for PKR proved the difference in a highly competitive match against a Hishang Bao’an selected side Friday. Then, in the final match, Hishang Bao’an Youth Team pushed PKR hard, but lost 4-3 in a thrilling game that saw Cambodians Lay Raksmey, Samel Nasa, Khounla Boravy and Suon Thuon make the scoresheet.
PKR Technical Adviser Prak Sovannara, who led the team in China, was clearly elated after returning to Phnom Penh Monday with the trophy and a cash prize of US$1500.
“I am happy for the victories,” he said, after returning to Phnom Penh Monday. “It was a good experience for us, and has helped to put the league disappointment behind us.
“We went there to represent Cambodia, and we are delighted to have done our country proud. The players are happy and have regained their confidence back, as we look forward to this weekend’s fixture with Phnom Penh Crown [in the third place playoff of the CPL].”