Preah Khan Reach’s Prak Mony Udom (front) scores past Rithy Sen keeper Oum Veasna during their league game on Saturday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
In one the biggest upsets this season, underdogs Prek Pra Keila pulled off a sensational 3-2 victory over former league champions Naga Corp in their Metfone C-League tie at Olympic Stadium on Saturday. In the second game of the day, last year’s runners-up Preah Khan Reach whipped bottom of the table Rithy Sen 8-0 with their leading striker Khuon Laboravy plundering a hat-trick.
Saturday’s victory was doubly sweet for Prek Pra Keila, with the side not only securing their first win of the campaign but remaining unfazed by an own goal which nearly wrecked their early momentum.
The man who brought the magical twist in Prek Pra fortunes was striker Philip Ali. The Nigerian hitman conjured a strange looking goal in the 22nd minute - the goalpost turning his flick in - to give his side an unexpectedly bold start.
A gripping phase then ensued with Sos Hanafy’s attempt to clear a dangerous cross ending in the back of his own net before Kop Isa priced out an opportunistic goal to give title contenders Naga a 2-1 advantage.
With their star striker Julius Oiboh unable to operate with his usual gusto, the 2009 champs found it hard to quicken the tempo and consolidate their lead. Taking advantage of a sloppy reaction from Naga defence, Vy Lika fired the Prek Pra equaliser in the 65th minute.
Hardly had the roar in the stands died down when Philip Ali came up with a neat finish to grab the winner and give struggling Prek Pra a glimpse of daylight out of the gloom of relegation.
Goals aplenty for PKR
Outpaced in the early stages of this competition by their arch rivals Phnom Penh Crown and Naga, Preah Khan Reach are just beginning to hack up towards the leading pack.
Their romp in the late kickoff on Saturday was built around Khuon Laboravy’s terrific treble and double strikes from Phany I Rotha and Prak Mony Udom. Substitute Sam Oeurn Pidor rounded off the tally.
With two draws and several heavy defeats nagging them, league newcomers Rithy Sen were quickly backed into a corner when Khuon Laboravy found the mark and Phany Erotha cushioned that lead within minutes of the start.
Sustained pressure by PKR, led to Prak Mony Udom scoring twice in a six-minute span even as Phany Erotha and Laboravy came back for more. That as good as sealed the contest for PKR at the halfway point and the rest of the match was just a matter of sheer margin.
As Preah Khan Reach move up to third behind Phnom Penh Crown and Naga, Rithy Sen remain the only team without a win and the dubious distinction of conceding the most number of goals so far this season while scoring the least.