Boeung Ket football club handed Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC their first loss in the 2020 season of the Metfone Cambodian League (MCL).
Tiffy Army FC, meanwhile, registered their fourth straight win in the tournament at the expense of Electricite du Cambodge (EDC). The Army team’s 4-2 demolition of EDC at the Old Army Stadium on Sunday came after the team registered wins against Phnom Penh Crown FC (3-2), Kirivong Sok Sen Chey FC (1-0) and Soltilo Angkor FC (3-0).
Before their 4-2 defeat to the Phnom Penh-based team last Sunday, PKR Svay Rieng FC recorded nine wins and a single draw through ten matches in Cambodia’s top football league.
South African forward Mothusi Gopane led the charge for Boeung Ket FC, scoring the game and his team’s first goal in the 23rd minute.
Ace defender Jonny Campbell initially stopped Gopane from scoring in the 22nd minute. But a few moments later, the South African striker managed to penetrate the backline once more and launched a successful attempt from up close past keeper Aim Sovannarath.
Prior to that, Brazilian striker Pedro Augusto had a chance to put PKR Svay Rieng FC ahead. After receiving a pass from Japanese midfielder Daisuke Kobayashi, Augusto went for the goal, but his attempt in the 20th minute went wide.
Cambodian forward Mat Noron doubled the Boeung Ket FC lead with his goal in the 39th minute.
The first half ended with Boeung Ket FC holding an ‘improbable’ 2-0 lead over the defending champions.
Three minutes into the second half, Cambodian ‘wunderkid’ Sieng Chanthea scored to put his team well ahead, 3-0.
Tight defence, aggressiveness and excellent goalkeeping by goalie Hul Kimhuy allowed Boeung Ket FC to pull ahead by a mile.
The vaunted attacking team of PKR Svay Rieng FC, meanwhile, were uncharacteristically ‘silent’ as their opponents went on a scoring rampage.
Kobayashi finally broke the scoreless spell for PKR Svay Rieng FC in the 66th minute. The Japanese midfielder took advantage of disarray in their opponents’ backline to narrow their team’s deficit to 1-3 with still plenty of time left in the game.
Striker Jean Befolo “Privat” Mbarga came through with another goal in the 86th minute as PKR Svay Rieng FC threatened to turn the game around. But that was the closest they got as Boeung Ket FC clamped down on defence.
Another goal by Mat towards the end of the match completed the scoring.
“Thank you for the many messages of support and understanding. It is nice when people know that winning is not guaranteed. We try as a team not to get too high when we win, we try not to think we are better than we are. Now when we lose we must remember all we have done well. Two years since we lost at Svay Rieng Stadium, that day we had seven banned players and we missed them. Today, we missed the love, support and sound of our supporters. Congratulations to Boeung Ket who deserved their win,” Conor Nestor, head coach of PKR Svay Rieng FC, said in a post on his Facebook page.
“We will learn what we need to learn and come back better,” he added.
The win allowed Boeung Ket FC to overtake PKR Svay Rieng FC in the standings. The Phnom Penh team is number one with 33 points to its credit, while the erstwhile leaders are trailing behind by a single point.
Boeung Ket FC have yet to be defeated this season with 10 wins and two draws to show after 12 matches.
Meanwhile, Cambodian forward Narong Kakada and Brazilian striker Romario Reginaldo Alves each scored a brace to lead Tiffy Army FC.
Narong opened the scoring in the 30th minute, followed by another goal from Romario six minutes later. The duo scored two more goals in the second half to secure for their team the fourth spot in the Cambodian League standings.
In the other game on Sunday, Asia Euro United FC beat Soltilo Angkor FC, 2-1.