Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prek Pra escape the drop zone

Prek Pra escape the drop zone

Prek Pra escape the drop zone

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Kirivong’s Nelson Oladiji tries to control a high ball in front of National Police Commissary’s Samut Dalin during their match at Olympic Stadium yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

For the first time this season, Prek Pra Keila climbed out of the bottom two after scoring a sensational 3-2 victory over Chhlam Samuth in a Metfone C-League tie at Olympic Stadium yesterday.

The defeat for the Sea Sharks meant they were sucked into the relegation dogfight with Rithy Sen, who are still firmly glued to the bottom on just two points. Prek Pra’s victory, cheered on by their horde of adoring fans, took the side out of the danger zone with the half of the campaign completed.

Following their huge upset win against prime contenders Naga Corp the previous week, Prek Pra are seemingly on a roll with back-to-back wins and a points tally of eight, one ahead of Chhlam Samuth.

National team member Mat Hassan provided the early bustle for Prek Pra when he expertly slotted home a Philip Ali cross as early as the eighth minute. But an opportunistic header by Ros Sam Oeurn restored parity for the Sharks after Prek Pra goal-keeper had boldly kept away a rasping drive by Paul Alabode.

Chhlam Samuth swiftly built up the momentum, and when old timer Pov Samnang let fly a fierce free kick that nestled in the top corner of the net, the complexion of the game changed completely.

Prek Pra’s never say die attitude was quite evident in the way the frontline handled the pressure of finding an equaliser. A swinging left-footed corner kick from Soth Sa Oun did the trick as Nigerian striker Jamiv Adabeyo rose above to head home.

With the scores level and the wind behind them, Prek Pra found a match winner in substitute Sen Soukey, who had come in for Mat Hassan late in the first half. With his back to the goal, Sen Soukey still managed enough power off his header when a curling cross came his way.

A brilliant piece of work by Prek Pra goal keeper Sen Mansoth saw him thwart a sure fire header from Meas Sophana minutes before the final whistle, and once the Muslim community based side survived that peril the victory was theirs, triggering off wild celebrations in the stands.

Police steal points at the death
An injury-time strike by Thith Dina hauled National Police Commissary to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Kirivong Sok Sen Chey in yesterday’s early league match.

The fourth win for the premier-league debutants in eight matches lifted the side to 14 points. Kirivong, meanwhile, suffered their fourth loss in nine matches to leave them on 11 points.

Yesterday’s clash was basically a battle of two halves. The Police took control of the first half with two timely strikes. Sophal Odom went around three defenders to find the net on the run and Thith Dina’s thoughtful header was the perfect response to a merited cross.

Kirivong came back from the changeover with several positional changes that swiftly brought them the desired results. A storming run into the box by In Vicheka, who was constantly shifting wings, saw the Kirivong frontliner heavily brought down, leading to a penalty. Nelson Oladiji stepped up to beat Police goalkeeper Pich Rovin Yothin with a well placed grounder.

Firmly holding on to their space advantage, Kirivong controlled the tempo of the contest and in one well charted move piled on so much of pressure on the Police backline that it just gave way to an intruding Heng Koem Houng to burst the net.

With the scores level and the attacking patterns shifting from one end to the other, it was anybody’s game until Thith Dina, who had agonisingly hit the upright minutes before, found the mark two minutes into added time.

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