Vathanaka’s Pahang suffer first league loss

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodia’s foursome are having mixed fortunes in the MSL. Supplied

With four of Cambodia’s finest footballers making the leap to the Malaysian Super League (MSL) this year, Khmer Times is keeping fans abreast of their fortunes after midweek fixtures.

Two games into the season Chan Vathanaka and Pahang remain without a win, while Prak Mony Udom’s Negeri Sembilan had Argentinian forward Nicolas Velez to thank as he netted a first-half brace to score a 2-0 victory over Kuala Lumpur FA.

At the Shah Alam Stadium on Wednesday evening, PKNS striker Safee Sali converted late in the game to hand Pahang a painful defeat at the death.

Vathanaka, a close season acquisition from Boeung Ket, was lively and had chances to open up the defence in the first period, but found opportunities hard to come by as PKNS tightened at the back after the restart.

With little separating the sides and the game seemingly destined for a draw, Safee broke Pahang hearts with a stoppage time winner. Whether Pahang coach Dollah Salleh will retain Vathanaka for tomorrow afternoon’s match against Kelantan is anybody’s guess.

Vathanaka, who is yet to score in a competitive match for Pahang, will need to show his coach and fans why he was so feared in Cambodia sooner rather than later.

Mony Udom, who was a late signing from Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng, played a part in Negeri Sembilan’s win over Kuala Lumpur. The Cambodian midfielder was largely anonymous in his first game last weekend, but was more effective operating from the left flank in Wednesday’s win.

Mony Udom’s next opponents are Melaka United for a Sunday evening encounter.

Keo Sokpheng, a former Boeung Ket and Phnom Penh Crown forward, was on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat to MSL defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim on Tuesday. The Cambodian made an instant impact in his league debut last weekend, scoring the winner in a win over Negeri Sembilan.

However, JDT were an entirely different animal as they slammed an unanswered three goals beyond the visitors. Sokpheng will hope for an improvement against Kedah in Sunday’s third league match.

Meanwhile, and also on Tuesday, Thierry Chantha Bin’s Terengganu were held 1-1 away to Kelantan and recorded a second straight draw after last weekend’s 2-2 result with PKNS. They host top of the table Selangor tomorrow afternoon for their next test.

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