Siem Reap-based Cambodian Tiger’s long road trip to Svay Rieng ended in a 1-1 draw against home side Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on Sunday evening as the Metfone C-League leaders remain the only unbeaten team after nine weeks of action.
Chidera Ononiwu had the simplest of tasks when presented with a clever through ball from Svay Rieng captain Prak Mony Udom as early as the 14th minute, but the leaders cracked a minute before the break as Timothy Okereke found enough time and space to head in a Dzarma Bata cross.
It was a hard-fought encounter in which both sides were even when it came to near misses. Prak Mony Udom had a couple of his free-kicks miss the mark narrowly and Nigerian forward Bata, who left Svay Rieng in 2015, created some anxious moments for his former club.
Bata agonisingly hit the crossbar for the Tigers after a Svay Rieng defender made a goalline clearance.
With two matches left to play in the first phase, Svay Rieng have now opened up a three-point gap over their nearest rivals Ministry of National Defence, who suffered their first defeat on Saturday at the hands of Western.
Phnom Penh Crown and Boeung Ket occupy third and fourth spots respectively with 17 points each, while NagaWorld are closing in for that all important four-team bracket for the championship playoffs.
In Sunday’s other matches, bottom of the table Kirivong Sok Sen Chey drew 2-2 with Asia Euro United FC at their home ground in Takeo, while CMAC United beat Electricite du Cambodge 3-1.
The newcomers to the top flight were nowhere near the rousing form that saw them go down 5-4 to Phnom Penh Crown last week after leading by two goals.