Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prek Pra escape the drop zone with win over Chhma Khmao

Prek Pra escape the drop zone with win over Chhma Khmao

Prek Pra escape the drop zone with win over Chhma Khmao

Mat Hassan nets twice and Dennis Nwaizu also strikes to down Chhma Khmao 3-1 Wednesday and lift Prek Pra Keila out of the relegation zone


Prek Pra Keila’s Sos Souhana (left) fends off a challenge from Chhma Khmao’s Lea Sopheap during their Metfone C-League match at Olympic Stadium Wednesday.

Prek Pra’s Dennis Nwaizu (left) and Chhma Khmao’s Mom Davy vie for the ball during their match Wednesday.
Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)

Prek Pra Keila clambered out of the relegation zone for the first time this season after seeing off fellow strugglers Chhma Khmao 3-1 Wednesday in their Metfone C-League fixture at the Olympic Stadium. The suburban side came from one goal behind with a brace from Mat Hassan and another from Dennis Nwaizu to record their second consecutive victory in a space of four days.

Backed by their ever vociferous young supporters, Prek Pra kicked off after one-minute’s silence in memory of late teammate Wilson Mene, who was buried in Phnom Penh a week before. The team may well have opened the scoring inside four minutes only for You Arafat and Feut Soulkiphly to miss the target in quick succession.

Their Svay Rieng based opponents responded instantly with a fluffed chance of their own when Sok Kolarama headed wide from a cross by Meak Chadaravuth.

In the 22nd minute, Meak Chadaravuth shrugging off his marker only to toe-poke his shot into the waiting arms of Prek Pra keeper Yok Ary. At the other end, Mat Hassan’s shot was whiskers away from goal after he had beaten the offside trap to leave just the keeper at his mercy.

As the half wore on, both sides pushed forward in search of the much desired curtain raiser, with Prek Pra the ones to crack first. Meak Chadaravuth used his pace to drive past two defenders and cut back to Christopher Kingston, who lashed it in with his left foot.

Undeterred from being behind, Prek Pra supporters upped their chanting and drumming in the stands and helped ensure the lead only lasted five minutes as Mat Hassan grabbed the equaliser.

The Black Cats failed to clear their lines and, after a series of ricochets around the back, the ball found its way to Prek Pra’s 19-year-old forward at the edge of the area. Chhma Khmao defenders stood rooted in expectation of an offside flag, but it remained down for Hassan to fire home, igniting the stands into thunderous applause.

The sides went into the break evenly poised.

Prek Pra coach Yep Phirum made a tactical change in the second period, moving Mat Hassan into the centre from the right wing to bolster the attack. It was to prove a smart move, allowing Dennis Nwaizu a free role in the middle of the pack as Prek Pra suddenly began to dominate possession.

Seven minutes after the restart, Nwaizu put his side in the driving seat after a neat string of passes found him with acres of space at the edge of the 18-yard box. Before any Chmma Khmao defenders could close him down, the Nigerian sent a low drive into the bottom corner.

With half an hour left, Chhma Khmao started fighting back and Kung Moeurnvuchit forced Yok Ary to make a courageous save when he punched his header away. However, the provincial side were made to pay for committing too high up the pitch when Mat Hassan capitalised on a failed offside trap, timing his run perfectly to collect a defence splitting pass from Nwaizu and picking his spot past Chhma Khmao’s Pen Socheat to gift his side a two goal cushion.

From there on out, there could only be one winner as Prek Pra continued to press back their opponents into their own half. Prek Pra could have increased their lead, with You Arafat squandering several glorious opportunities and Mat Hassan passing on his hat trick when his shot from close range hit the upright and bounced back tantalizingly along the line.

With their 3-1 victory, Prek Pra leapfrogged Wat Phnom into eighth place in the league table due to a superior goal difference. Prek Pra assistant manager Ro Seth was understandably emotional about their new found form. “We dedicate all victories to Wilson [Mene] because he will stay around us forever,” he expressed. “Our club is poor, but our heart is not poor. So we are happy today and will continue to do better as the league progresses.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Kingdom, UN discuss rights

    A year after Cambodia received 198 recommendations from UN member countries, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Cambodia) met with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to discuss following-up on the Kingdom’s third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and