Cambodian C-League Recap: Boeung Ket scrape win against Phnom Penh Crown

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FC came away from the weekend’s Metfone highlight away to FC with three points thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over the defending league champions on Saturday evening.

Freshly-recruited South Korean pair Jang In-yong and Sim Woon-sub were named in the Crown starting eleven and were joined by the returning talisman Thierry Chantha Bin. The visitors meanwhile named a near-full strength squad with former C-League golden boot winner Dzarma Bata coming in to deputise for the absent Samuel Gbenga Ajayi.

Despite the wealth of attacking talent from both sides on display for the capacity crowd in attendance, it was a single strike from the boot of unheralded defender Sok Sovan midway through the second half which was enough to separate the sides at the full-time whistle. Sovan, arriving late into the box, was able to evade his marker and connect with the pinpoint deadball delivery from his teammate, sending a thunderous effort beyond Keo Soksela in the Crown goal – for the games decisive goal.

With Crown now surging forward in the hope of an equaliser, temper’s boiled over as Crown’s In-yong and Boeung Ket’s Hong Pheng receive their marching orders after coming to blows. Things were not helped as plastic bottles rained down on the pitch from a small section of fans as Boeung Ket’s Sou Yaty, a former Crown goalkeeper, failed to cover himself in glory after attempting a punch as an on-pitch melee threatened to blow up – an act he later apologised for on social media.

After the unsavoury scuffles on the pitch had been cleaned up by the unfortunate referee, the game petered out to give Boeung Ket a valuable three-points as they chase top position. Crown will now look to regroup and hope striker George Kelechi Stanley can rediscover his shooting boots, which proved so lethal in 2015 for Asia Europe United FC. The six-time C-League champs now sit in fourth spot, seven points behind Boeung Ket who are tied on 15 points with Ministry of National Defense FC.

Earlier that afternoon, NagaWorld FC hit three past CMAC United FC at the National Olympic Stadium thanks to goals from Privat Mbarga, Park Yong-jun and Sos Suhana. A late consolation from Timothy Okereke eased the blow for CMAC although the loss is now their fourth in just six league outings. Unfortunately for Naga, the win was bittersweet as vice-captain Kouch Sokumpheak looks to be headed for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a painful ankle injury.

On Sunday, Asia Europe United FC ground out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Western, while Japanese-backed Cambodian Tiger moved up to fifth place in the league standings after recording a 2-1 win over National Police Commissary FC.

While Western got out of the gates quickest at the National Olympic Stadium, scoring the opener through Run Rany, who outmuscled AEU defender Chan Dara in the game’s very first minute to slot in past the keeper. However, the lead was shortlived as they were quickly pegged back by AEU’s Sok Sengdara in the 13th.

Matthew Osa then bagged a brace of goals either side of half-time to give Western a commanding two-goal cushion before a double from Ea Pirot and Sengdara gave AEU a share of the spoils.

Later that evening, Chay Rothserey struck in second half stoppage time to give Cambodian Tiger a valuable three points in their encounter with National Police at the National Olympic Stadium.

Preah Khan Svay RIeng FC had kicked off week 6 on Friday by finally giving up their unbeaten 2016 league record as they went down heavily at home to Ministry of National Defense FC. The 2015 Hun Sen Cup winners went into the weekend on top of the league standings after wins over Western FC, NagaWorld FC and CMAC United FC complemented a draw with National Police Commissary FC.

However, the Army side were in the mood for no prisoners, and despite going behind to a 15th minute Samoeun Pidor effort, Army’s North Korean duo Choe Myong-ho and Kim Kyong-hon hit three to lead the visitors to a 5-1 win. Sok Sana was the other Army player on target, while an own goal from Nub Tola compounded the hosts woeful home performance.