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BK shade Crown on opening day

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RSN Stadium provided the venue for the Cambodia ‘Clasico’. KT / Yeun Punlue

The 2019 Metfone C-League season finally got underway on Saturday with a captivating Cambodian ‘Clasico’ providing fans and coaches much to ponder on the opening day.

On Saturday evening, former champs Boeung Ket came from behind to claim a 3-2 victory away at six-time champions Phnom Penh Crown now managed by former national team head coach Leonardo Vitorino.

Crown’s Paulo Victor scored an early opener from long range to give the hosts the lead after just eight minutes. With four minutes of the first period remaining, Boeung Ket’s Samuel Gbenga Ajayi’s low cross was directed into his own net by Crown’s Yue Safy to restore parity for the vistors.

Spaniard Ángel Carrascosa put Boeung Ket ahead on 53 minutes before Ly Mizan stretched the lead further still with a third. At 3-1 Boeung Ket were coasting and Crown were forced to call upon some changes.

An own goal from Touch Pancharong with 15 minutes left to play gave hope to Crown but it was not enough as BK held on for a famous win.

Speaking after the match new Crown coach Vitorino cited luck as the reason for BK’s win.

“It was a great match for our first game and [we] created many chances, but we did not have the chance to get three today. And they took their chances,” the Brazilian said.

They were more lucky than us, so what we have to do next to strengthen more. As I mentioned before the game it was always going to be a difficult game. But I still have confidence in our players that they will improve even more during the season.”

“For our shortcomings, we have to learn to work more efficiently, when we have the opportunity, we have to score more. We played well overall but we didn’t take our chances.”

In Saturday afternoons league opener, league new-boys Kampong Cham scored a confidence-boosting 1-0 win over Electricity du Cambodge.

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