Ministry of National Defense failed to secure three points at home despite leading by two goals, with Visakha bagging two quick goals to secure a 2-2 draw at the Army Stadium last weekend, making Ministry of National Defense out of the league title race.
Na Hyosung scored a brace to give Ministry of National Defense a two-goal lead, with the forward putting his side in front with a thirty-fourth minute strike before netting his second goal in the second half.
However, Visakha forced a draw with two consecutive second-half goals within three minutes. Cheo Myong Ho scored a superb free-kick in the seventy-sixth minute, giving Um Vichet no chance to save before Ri Hyok Chol equalized for Coach Hok Sochivorn’s side.
Despite a disappointing draw, Coach Phea Sopheaktra hailed Ministry of National Defense’s improvement and progression as his players could apply his match plan, but he is not impressed by his team defense, with the miscommunication between the goalkeeper and defender allowing Visakha to bag an equalizer.
With three league matches to go, Nagaworld top the league table with two points ahead of defending champions Boeung Ket and five points ahead of Visakha, with Coach Phea Sopheaktra demonstrating that Nagaworld need to beat his side if they are to clinch the league championships this season.
Coach Phea Sopheaktra told TheMorning: “Our performance against Visakha in a 2-2 draw shows a big improvement and progression in our team. Our team work, link up, and our counter attack were all done based on our game plan.
“They scored the first goal just like the way we conceded against Soltilo Angkor after we fouled in front of our box, but sometimes we need to make contact because if we didn’t, the opponents could score. Finally, they scored through a free-kick.
“They [Visakha] came from behind to secure a draw due to the poor decision and communication between our goalkeeper and defenders, but I’m not blaming my players. It is football, so they may make some mistakes, eventually. However, my players did what we had planned with commitment and high spirit.
“We conceded two goals, but I think it is normal in football as there should be anything that can happen. As I have said after we led by two goals, our players lost concentration and felt a bit relaxed. After going two goals behind, the opponents tried to push forward. We conceded two quick goals, but for me I still think we still did a great job.
“Of course, we have already lost our chance [to win the league championships], but I told my players that we are the team no one can write off. We are still in the top-4 zone, so next we must do our best for our club’s reputation as we can still finish second in the league.
“I think Boeung Ket and Nagaworld are the favorites [to clinch the league title], but Nagaworld need to go past Ministry of National Defense. If they can beat us, they are likely to win the league championships. Both Boeung Ket and Nagaworld have shown great performance, so to me if Nagaworld can defeat us, they can be the league winners.”
Photo courtesy of CNCC