A week after former head coach John McGlynn left the club, Boeung Ket Angkor went down 2-1 to Commissary of National Police under the supervision of interim manager Hao Socheat at Old Stadium on Sunday.
The Japanese pair of Tomoki Muramutsu and Hikaru Mizono went close for Boeung Ket during a spirited first-half display, but once Police grabbed the initiative in the 36th minute, following a Noun Borey strike, the defending champions fell on the back foot.
Police doubled the lead late in the second half through Tith Dina and, despite losing defender Ouch Panhaseth to his second yellow card, Police firmly held on to their lead.
Boeung Ket’s goal in the first minute of added time through a Sovanarithy header came far too late to make any impression on the outcome.
The loss saw the defending champions move up to fourth place in the table as NagaWorld climb to third after soundly beating Kirivong Sok Sen Chey 3-1.
Both Boeung Ket and Naga head to Singapore at the end of the month as Cambodia’s invitees to the RHB Singapore Cup. In the preliminary round matches, Boeung Ket face Warriors FC on May 29, while Naga take on Global FC of the Philippines two days later.
Once again it was the combined effort of Atuheire Kipson and George Kelechi that boosted the Naga stock at Takeo. Kipson’s first-half goal was boosted by Kelechi’s second-half double as Naga ended the first phase of the league season in third spot, joint second with Army, three points behind Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng.
Crown salvage draw
Meanwhile, Phnom Penh Crown survived a scare against CMAC United and pulled off a 2-2 draw on the back of Keo Sokngon’s stoppage-time equaliser.
Shane Booysen drove Crown to the front in the 34th minute, his near-30-yard free-kick deflecting off the defensive wall into the far corner of the net.
Soon after the breather, CMAC drew level after Michael Osei Tutu’s tap-in off a Dani Kouch pass.
Lawrence Shuruma converted a penalty he himself had earned to give CMAC a 2-1 lead that looked good enough for the three points until Sokgnon headed in a Mao Piseth cross in injury time to knot the scores at 2-2.