Metfone C-League pitted Naga Corp against the students of BBU. Everyone expected a Naga win especially as they had their goal-machine Julius Oiboh back after suspension. Well, it didn't exactly work out the way they'd planned. Oiboh fired blanks, so did his team and with the crowd on their side, BBU weathered the storm of controversy to post a suprise 2-1 win and put a dent in Naga's title hopes. With Naga's Nuth Sinoun facing his old team just a week after leaving them in acrimonious fashion, there was always going to be some spice to the game and that was helped by BBU taking a 5th minute lead when Oum Chandara finished with a neat volley from Nhim Sovannara's measured cross. The latter, usually a defender, was pitched into attack following Sinoun's departure and worked like a trojan throughout the game. Oiboh was booked soon after and that may've had an effect on him as he failed to convert two chances in the first twenty minutes. Sinoun also had an open goal denied him by a last-ditch clearance from In Virak. With referee Sang Sopheak allowing a few Naga challenges to go unpunished, the crowd's favour began to sway towards BBU, who twice clipped the cross-bar through Chhun Sothearath and saw a Prum Putsethy shot fingertipped aside by Naga keeper Phorn Ratana at the end of the first-half.
Early doors after the restart and Naga will kick themselves for not doing better when Oiboh's shot was saved by Hem Simay and then Neang Chenla headed against the crossbar with the goal gaping in front of him. Next came the moment of controversy, on 56 minutes. With the linesman's flag raised for offside against Oiboh, BBU's defenders froze expecting the whistle from referee Sang Sopheak, that never came. The alert Chin Chom reacted like lightning, took the ball on, rounded Hem Simay and rolled his shot over the line. Cue bedlam as BBU surrounded the referee and then looked set to walk-off the pitch when he refused to change his decision. The crowd joined in the mayhem and then the BBU coach sprinted up the grandstand steps to remonstrate with the match commissioner, but to no avail. The referee's decision is final and technically the goal was a sound one, though the passive offside rule is open to interpretation and that's what the crowd, and BBU, didn't like. Aggrieved, BBU restarted the game after the 15 minute delay and within ten minutes they were back in front, much to the crowd's obvious delight. It was another Sovannara cross, Chea Sophany supplied the touch and Putsethy crashed in what proved to be the winning goal from six yards out. I think you could say that the BBU skipper was a happy man. Both Sovannara and Putsethy fluffed chances to increase the lead and then at the death, Naga's Chin Chom fired a shot against Hem Simay's legs and BBU were left to celebrate a remarkable turnaround. I love a bit of controversy with my Sunday afternoon football and this had a bit of everything.