Two second-half goals from George Bisan for NagaWorld boosted his tally for this season to six goals from seven appearances while steering his side to a 2-0 win over a beleaguered Ministry of National Defense at Old Stadium on Saturday evening.
The victory was all the sweeter for the two-time champions as it meant they shot into a clear two-point lead at the top of the Metfone C-League standings with 19 from seven matches after joint leaders Boeung Ket’s blushes were spared by Julius Oiboh’s late equaliser against second bottom side Elecricite du Cambodge, who only got their first win of the season last week after a run of five straight defeats.
Desperate to turn around a string of poor results this season, Army showed greater verve in the first half and managed to lock down Naga early in the second until a Bisan header from a corner saw his side take control.
Armed with the lead, Naga looked much more confident in their attacking approach and a defensive lapse opened up another opportunity for Bisan to hit home from the edge of the box from a right-wing cross.
Best known for a prolific partnership with South African Shane Booysen that netted 47 goals in the 2015 season for Phnom Penh Crown, Bisan began his Cambodian odyssey in 2012 with Boeung Ket. He then moved to Crown the following year and stayed there until 2016. Trying out two clubs in Vietnam in the intervening months, he was back in the Kingdom with Asia Europe United in 2017 before moving to Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng.
At EdC Stadium, if Boeung Ket thought there was nothing to fear from the home side given their lowly position in the table, the defending champions were in for a shock.
A 12th-minute goal from Yorm Mesa gave EdC the confidence to keep pushing Boeung Ket, and they took to the break in relative comfort. After sustained Boeung Ket counterattacks, the Blue Dragon eventually levelled through Oiboh in the 65th minute.
Though they upped the ante in the closing stages, Boeung Ket had to live with a split decision which cleared the way for Naga to scale the top of the table after seven gameweeks.
In the day’s other match, Dzarma Bata’s first-half goal gave Siem Reap side Soltilo the lead, until Svay Rieng clawed their way back with goals from Booysen and Trevin Caesar within a minute of each other midway through the second session for a 2-1 win.