Phnom Penh Crown have a tough start to the new league season as they were beaten 3-1 by Visakha at the Smart RSN Stadium, and it is also their second home defeat in a row despite a great second-half performance. The home side were behind inside ten minutes of the play after Guardiano, who received a through ball from San Kimheng, netted home past Leonardo Oliveira to give Visakha an early lead. Yeu Muslim got a glorious chance to draw Phnom Penh Crown level, but the midfielder’s effort was not curve enough as it went wide over the cross bar. Guardiano scored his second goal of the night with a well-placed header into the top left corner after the forward received a great cross from Keo Sokpheng. Nov Soksela broke into Visakha’s penalty box as he edged past Tieng Tiny and Chheng Meng, but his effort was not good enough to beat opponent goalkeeper Keo Soksela. Leonardo Oliveira made two quality saves just before half time. The Brazilian came off quickly to deny Keo Sokpheng’s low shot before producing another great save with his left foot from Pak Song Chol’s long range strike.
Phnom Penh Crown coach Leonardo Vitorino made two early changes in the second half, with Ouk Sothy and Shuhei Mitsuhashi coming on to replace Nov Soksela and Mao Piseth respectively. With the introduction of the Japanese midfielder, Phnom Penh Crown’s attack looked much better than it was in the first half. Shuhei Mitsuhashi made immediate impacts, but couldn’t capitalize on the chances he created as his low shot and free-kick were brilliantly saved by Visakha goalkeeper Keo Soksela. Paulo Victor pulled one back for Phnom Penh Crown to reduce the deficit with a powerful low strike after he received a through ball from skipper Va Sokthorn.
After getting a goal back, Phnom Penh Crown tried hard to push forward in search for an equalizer, but failed to use their chances effectively with a number of misses during their momentum. Shuhei Mitsuhashi took advantage from an awkward clearance before firing a low shot that was off target, while Visakha goalkeeper Keo Soksela made double saves from Paulo Victor and the Japanese midfielder. Despite their momentum, Phnom Penh Crown were punished by the opponents as second-half substitute Tith Dina scored Visakha’s third goal to secure a 3-1 win for Hok Sochivorn’s side.