A 2-0 win for Boeung Ket in Saturday’s defeat of Ministry of National Defense at the National Olympic Stadium saw the defending champions boost their hopes of securing the championship for a third consecutive year – albeit with a mere five games played.
After a tight, goalless first period, the game sprung to the life in the second-half. BK’s Nigerian forward Julius Oiboh struck a deserved opener in the 71st after Brazilian Maycon Calijuri got the better of the Army defense to slip the ball inside for Oiboh to sidefoot the ball home. Maycon went from provider to goalscorer just two minutes later as he turned the ball in from six yards after a smart BK counter attack left Army exposed at the back.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s other highlight saw newly-promoted Visakha stun Western with a 3-0 victory. A brace from North Korean attacker Choe Myong-ho sandwiched a 50th minute effort from youngster San Kim Heng.
In Saturday’s final fixture, National Police Commissary had Noh Sangwin to thank as his double secured a 2-1 victory over top flights newcomers Soltilo Angkor. Dzarma Bata, former C-League Golden Boot winner, was on target for Soltilo.
In yesterday’s afternoon action, Angkor Tiger built on their earlier defeat of Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng with a 3-1 victory over hapless Electricite du Cambodge.
The C-League now enters another enforced break in play thanks to the invitational Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy youth championship which kicks off today. Cambodia are among six teams from around the region joining hosts Brunei in the push for the top prize.
Teams are restricted to using only players aged under-22, with Cambodia drawn in Group B alongside Laos and Singapore. Hosts Brunei, Thailand, Myanmar and Timor Leste makeup Group A.
The championships aim to promote friendship among the participating teams. The tournament was first held in 2002 and this year’s edition will mark its sixth edition. In their 2012 and 2014 appearances, the young Angkor Warriors did not go beyond the group stage.
In an attempt to improve the kingdom’s fortunes, Cambodia coach Prak Sovannara has called up a slew of new faces in his squad.
“It is important to bring some youths in the squad. Our aim is to develop and give them the chance to get experience at international stage”, said Sovannara in a recent media interview.
Cambodia must wait until Saturday for their first match which will see them face neighbours Laos. They then meet Singapore two days later for their final group match. Defending champions Myanmar will take on Thailand in their opening game on Tuesday, a day after the hosts play Timor Leste. The winning team will earn $15,200, with $7,600 going to the runners-up. $3,800 has been allocated for joint third-placed teams.