CAMPBELL, SVAY RIENG BACK IN ACTION
Jonny Campbell and Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC gave a thrashing to Bati Academy U-18s as Cambodia's C-League returned to action following its suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bati Academy 0-10 Svay Rieng
Svay Rieng made a resounding statement in their return to league action as they decimated Bati Academy at the Tonle Bati National Football Center.
With the league restarting in the Southeast Asian country, much attention was focused on the top two teams. Both Svay Rieng and Campbell's former team Phnom Penh Crown are two of four unbeaten teams, but they have been the most dominant thus far. With four wins and a single tie from their first five games prior to the shutdown, the defending league champions were looking to pick up where they left off and get an advantage over their rivals.
Campbell and his teammates did just that as they rolled over their opponents on the day.
The visitors opened the scoring after just six minutes when Bati lost possession of the ball at midfield, allowing Jean Befolo "Privat" Mbarga to make a darting run down the left side. The Cameroonian then crossed the ball to Pedro Augusto who easily slotted it home.
The Brazilian forward followed that strike with a sublime finish in the 13th minute when he performed an overhead kick that the Bati goalkeeper could only dive at helplessly as it hit the back of the net. Augusto completed his first-half hat-trick 10 minutes later when he headed the ball in from a corner kick.
The hosts were being thoroughly overpowered as Svay Rieng went on to add a fourth goal on the half-hour mark. Japanese midfielder Daisuke Kobayashi pounced on the loose ball from a corner kick and slammed it home.
Svay Rieng kept the momentum rolling in the second half as another Brazilian, Thiago Santos, stepped on the field to score the team's fifth in the 59th minute.
The game was over at this point, but the visitors did not take their foot off the gas as Privat went on to get his own hat-trick alongside Augusto. He put away his first in the 76th minute with a strike from just inside the area. The forward's second and third goals came within seconds of each other.
Sareth Krya and Augusto completed the rout in the latter stages of the game to send Svay Rieng away with all three points.
A good win for the champions as they sent a message to their rivals that despite being out of action for two months, they have not missed a beat as they are intent on retaining their crown.
Svay Rieng sits atop of the C-League standings with 16 points.