Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on Sunday secured an emphatic 6-1 win at home to Asia Euro United (AEU) in the penultimate game of the season and are now one game away from making history by going a whole season undefeated and becoming the Kingdom’s first ever “Invincibles”.
Having reached the final of the Hun Sen Cup with a dramatic semi-final penalty shootout win over Phnom Penh Crown last month, Svay Rieng are also eyeing a famous league and cup double, with the final scheduled for November 6.
Having clinched the title last weekend with victory over Ministry of National Defence, Svay Rieng hosted 10th-placed AEU on Sunday evening knowing that avoiding defeat would leave just one game between them and history.
After a goalless first 36 minutes, star striker Jean Marie Privat Mbarga – better known as Privat – sprung into action with a clinical eight-minute hat trick with goals in the 37th, 40th, and 45th minutes to send Svay Rieng into the break 3-0 to the good.
Svay Rieng did not let up in the second-half, with vice-captain and Cambodian international Chea Samnang bagging his side’s fourth after 59 minutes.
Fellow Angkor Warrior Hoy Phallin notched the fifth eight minutes later, but AEU grabbed a consolation goal on 75 minutes, when Lay Raksmey – another national team star – caught the Svay Rieng defence napping on the counter attack and finished smartly from outside the area.
It was too little too late, though, and Cameroonian Privat grabbed his fourth of the game five minutes from time to seal a 6-1 victory and take his tally for the season to a league best 34 goals from 25 games.
So with 20 wins and five draws, SvayRieng kept their remarkable streak alive and now face last season’s champions NagaWorld this Sunday, where a draw would be enough to become the first Cambodian team to go a whole season unbeaten.
Elsewhere this weekend, Visakha played out a 2-2 draw with NagaWorld to stay one place above the Phnom Penh-based outfit in second.
Boeung Ket won 3-1 at home to Soltilo Angkor to remain fourth, while seventh-placed Ministry of National Defence thrashed Electricite du Cambodge 5-1 and Angkor Tiger drew 2-2 at home to Phnom Penh Crown.
Kirivong saw off visitors Kampong Cham 5-0, who have now conceded 171 goals this season, and scored only 10.
Propping up the league, however, is gallant youth team National Sports Academy, who battled to a 4-4 draw with National Police to give them hope of overtaking 13th-placed Kampong Cham in the battle against relegation.
Even if they cannot manage that next weekend, however, Svay Rieng’s US defender Johnny Campbell told The Post on Monday that National Sports Academy may be spared from the drop.
“Normally, the team finishing in last place is kicked out of the league, but the Football Federation of Cambodia may keep the youth squad in the league to help develop young talent for the future,” he said.
Next Sunday’s crunch game to decide if Svay Rieng can make history kicks off at 6pm at the capital’s Olympic Stadium and can be watched live on BTV.