Vathanaka produces the goods

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Chan Vathanaka was PKNS’ most outstanding player. Courtesy PKNS

Cambodian star Chan Vathanaka produced a man-of-the-match performance bagging a goal and setting up two others to help Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor to a 4-0 win over Selangor in their Sunday evening Malaysian Super League clash.

Former Boeung Ket hitman Vathanaka is attempting a second crack at the MSL after tying up a move to PKNS.

The club, based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, are managed by former Malaysian national football coach K. Rajagopal, who helped Malaysia win the 2009 SEA Games and the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 a year later. Last season, he helped the squad finish third in the Malaysian Super League.

The now 25-year old Vathanaka was signed up by Pahang of the Malaysian Super League between January and May last year – although it was a spell he would want to forget.

His stint at Pahang FA came to an abrupt end in April, a little under five months after making a high profile switch to the MSL club. There, he scored just once in 12 appearances.

Vathanaka found himself expendable with the club’s coach Dollah Salleh choosing to replace him with Issey Nakajima. Vathanaka registered a single goal in 12 appearances although he also provided two assists.

Pahang coach Salleh later expressed his frustration with Vathanaka, saying he felt the 24-year-old forward was not showing any significant improvement and playing below expectations.

Malaysia’s Football Association had announced in 2017 they would be emulating their Thai counterparts by implementing an Asean player quota on a trial basis for five seasons starting from the 2018 season before a review in 2022.

Under the new rules, Super League clubs are able to register three foreign players, one Asian player and an Asean player. Previously, clubs were only allowed to register a maximum of four foreigners with one signing coming from Asia.

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