KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Mix Diskerud scored a goal to help Ulsan Hyundai inch closer to the K League title in South Korea, while Jonny Campbell and Svay Rieng got their hands on the league title in Cambodia.
Ulsan Hyundai made sure the fight for the K League 1 crown continued as they came away with a 2-1 win against Daegu at the DGB Arena.
Mix Diskerud started for the Tigers and played 84 minutes as the team looks to claim their first title in 14 years.
Ulsan have always been contenders for the top domestic prize in South Korea, but have struggled to overcome teams such as FC Seoul, Pohang Steelers and perennial title holders Jeonbuk Motors. However, this season has proven to be different as they have stayed on pace with Jeonbuk as both fight neck and neck to see who will be this season's champion.
On to the action from the game, Ulsan were given an opportune chance to open the scoring in the fourth minute when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty after Junior Negao was brought down in the area by a poor challenge from Kim Woo-Seok. However, the Brazilian forward would fail to convert from the spot as Daegu goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo guessed right with his dive and saved the penalty.
Despite missed chance, the visitors were not detered and finally opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. With Daegu being pressured deep in their own end, Diskerud would take the ball off the feet of Jeong Tae-Wook and slot his shot past Cho.
Ulsan then had to withstand pressure from the host as they bombarded their goal with chances. The best one came in the 32nd minute when Daegu's Brazilian forward Cesinha fired a shot from the edge of the area. But the ball came crashing off the post and out of play.
The second half would Daegu finally get the goal they were looking for in the 49th minute, with Cesinha getting his shot past two defenders as it headed towards the back of the net.
The host were intent on finding the game winner, and Ulsan had to do all they could to withstand attack after attack. Luckily for them Daegu were finding it hard to put anything else away.
That allowed Ulsan to eventually silence the home supporters in the 80th minute when Joo Min-Kyu, who had just entered the game, guided a cross from teammate Kim Bo-Kyung in the goal to ensure that they would steal all three points in the end.
The win keeps Ulsan at the top of the standings with 72 points, with Jeonbuk Motors just a point behind.
The race for the league title is going down to the wire, and with only four games left, Diskerud and his teammates cannot afford any slip ups along the way.
Svay Rieng FC went down a goal but fought their way back to claim a 4-2 win over National Defense at Sports Complex Svay Rieng to guarantee them the C-League title with two games to spare.
Jonny Campbell started for Svay Rieng in central defense and played the full 90 minutes as he has collected his first piece of silverware since making the move to the Cambodian league in 2018.
The host had an excellent chance to open the scoring just a minute into the contest when Yeon Gi-sung found himself unmarked as he received a lofted pass. He got past the goalkeeper, but his shot was deflected over the bar by a National Defense defender.
That attempt was followed by another near miss five minutes later when Hoy Phallin got his foot onto a cross from teammate Prak Mony Udom. But the ball would hit the post.
Campbell then had a chance to give his team the lead after the half-hour mark when National Defense failed to clear the ball from their area, allowing the Tennessee native to have crack at goal, but he just couldn't get enough power on the ball to poke past the keeper.
It just seemed like it would not be Svay Rieng's night as they headed to the locker room with the game still scoreless.
The host started the second half just like the first as they carved through National Defense with some excellent passing, but could not get that final ball to put away.
The visitors then gave them a wake up call in the 52nd minute when Chrerng Polroth's shot from the edge of the area found the back of the net.
That goal seemed to do the trick for Svay Rieng as they started to find their scoring touch.
The host leveled the score in the 57th minute through Phallin, but there seemed to be some confusion as to whether his goal counted. National Defense assumed that there was a call for offside and they surrounded the referee to protest. Even a few of the Svay Rieng players had no idea what was going on, but the goal was awarded in the end.
Svay Rieng then took the lead in the 67th minute through Privat Mbarga. He toyed with a couple of defenders before his initial shot was saved by the goalkeeper. However, he pounced on the rebound and made sure the ball went in.
However, National Defense would grab the equalizer in the 80th minute when George Bisan would pounce a loose ball and slam it home.
The visitors made a game of it, but Svay Rieng showed why they have been unbeaten so far this season as they bagged two more goals to seal the win.
Soeuy Visal would restore their lead in the 84th minute. Mbarga then put the game to bed five minutes later with a chip over the goalkeeper.
A hard-earned win for Svay Rieng and one they and their fans will remember as they claim their second league title.
Although they have won the league, Svay Rieng's work is not done yet as they have a chance to finish the season unbeaten and give themselves the moniker of the "Invincibles" of the Cambodian league.