New entrants National Police Commissary kickstarted their Metfone C-League campaign with a well merited 2-1 victory over traditional heavyweights Naga Corp at Olympic Stadium yesterday.
In a spirited show of controlled aggression and creativity upfront, the Police rallied superbly back to first level an early Naga goal and then assume command late in the game to earn three precious points.
A snap goal by Naga frontliner Chin Chum came as a counter punch after their opposition had missed the target more than once. But the former league champions found the going progressively tougher as the novices began to string together several promising moves after the resumption.
While Naga appeared to have fallen back on the defence of that narrow lead, the Police were piling on relentless pressure. The breakthrough came for the Division A1 winners, when Long Nasy threaded
his way through to polish off a splendid solo effort in style.
The ball continued to roll in favour of the Police, even as Naga forwards took a couple of pot shots. But the goal that mattered came off the boot of an alert and circumspect Soy Piseth, who tapped the ball in after some anxious exchanges insides the six-yard box.
There were jubilant scenes in the Police camp, but the message coming out of it was more a warning shot to the rest that a team to reckon with has arrived.
Kirivong strike late to win 3-0 Kirivong Sok Sen Chey narrowly missed the Super 4 playoffs cut last year, but the fifth place finishers were bang on target in their league opener against Prek Pra Keila
The Takeo based outfit struck three unanswered goals late in the second period after the first half had remained goalless.
It was striker Nelson Oladiji’s imposing presence that was the root of the problem for the Prek Pra defence. The lofty Nigerian was unlucky to slam the upright and scrape the paint off the cross bar in the first half, but midway through the second session he produced a telling header to put Kirivong ahead.
Then came a strike of precision by Meak Chhordaravuth, with Oladiji back to round off the tally in injury time. There were two narrow squeaks for Kirivong when Prek Pra attackers You Arafat and Sos Souhana attempted shots from the top of the box, but both were sprayed wide.