KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Jonny Campbell and Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC claimed their first points in the AFC Cup and they came away with a huge win over Indonesian champions Bali United on Tuesday.
Svay Rieng 2-1 Bali United
Svay Rieng struck early and did enough to hold as they went on to beat Bali United at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh to move them up to second place in Group G.
Jonny Campbell started in central defense for the Cambodian champions and played full 90 as this game proved to be a positive step in their pursuit of more silverware this season.
After suffering a demoralizing 4-0 defeat to the Philippines Ceres FC is the tournaments opening game two weeks ago, it was not going to get any easier for the Svay Rieng as they had to face the Indonesian champions, who are certainly heavy favorites to come out of the group.
However, the host would give their Indonesian opponents a shock in the 12th minute of play when Thiago de Jesus Santos sent a long ball up field to his teammate, Privat. The Cameroonian forward then fed the ball to Hoy Phallin who steered it home to give them the lead.
Svay Rieng doubled their lead seven minutes later with Privat this time finding the back of the net. A errant back pass in the midfield by a Bali United player gave him ample opportunity to pounce on the loose ball, dribble into the area and slot his shot past goalkeeper Nadeo Argawinata.
The hosts were dominating the first half and they should have had a chance to extend their lead just after 20 minutes when Privat was brought down in the area by Brwa Nouri. However, the referee said play on. Svay Rieng's No. 10 had another chance to add to his tally 10 minutes later, but his effort came crashing off the crossbar.
Holding a 2-0 lead entering the second half can be a bit tricky to maintain, and Bali United found a way to cut the deficit in the 59th minute. Ilija Spasojevic would make a run into the area to meet a cross from Paulo Sergio. The Montenegrian-born striker's headed attempt was saved by Svay Rieng goalkeeper Outdom Om, but he was able to put away the rebound.
The visitors had one last chance to even the score in stoppage time from a corner kick, but Svay Rieng did well to clear the threat as the referee blew his whistle to end the game.
It was strong win for the Cambodian team and one to build on as they look ahead to their next group game.
Svay Rieng will face Vietnam's Than Quang Ninh in their next game on March 11.