A late goal from their Brazilian talisman saw Visakha force Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng to keep their celebratory champagne on ice after a 1-1 draw in their Metfone C-League fixture yesterday evening at Visakha Stadium.
The match had been postponed after Sunday’s fixture was hit by torrential downpour rendering play impossible. A win for coach Nestor’s men would have secured the C-League in what has been a faultless season for PKR.
After a quiet and goalless first period in front of 3,500 fans, Englishman Charlie Machell broke the deadlock for the visitors a mere 5 minutes after the half-time break, to hand Conor Nestor’s men the upper hand.
However, Brazilian Eliel da Cruz Guardiano equalised in the 77th to give the hosts a share of the spoils, with just three matches to play.
While Svay Rieng have won the Hun Sen cup four times, winning a first league title since 2013 would be an astonishing achievement for the provincial side.
Machell, speaking after the game, said he was delighted with the goal but not the result.
“Absolutely gutted we didn’t get the three points tonight. I thought we fought very well but obviously disappointed to not get the result we wanted, he said.
“[To the fans], I want to say a massive thanks to the fans for travelling especially with the rain delay yesterday. Amazing support like always. Week in, week out we will fight in. the three more games and make sure we get the 9 points and the championship.”
The team now look forward to next weekend’s opportunity to cement their status as Cmbodia’s top club side, and complete the remainder of their matches in the hope of preserving an unbeaten C-League record.
In the day’s earlier fixture, and also rescheduled, Phnom Penh Crown were 4-1 victors against Ministry of National Defense courtesy of goals from Paulo Soares, Mustafa Zazai and a Dzarma Bata brace. Former Crown striker was on target for Ministry of National Defense.