Sunday, August 8, 2010

Naga hit jackpot

Chin Chom, back from the treatment table to net a hat-trick for Naga
Naga move confidently through to next week's play-off match against Crown
The second match on Saturday saw Wat Phnom fighting for their C-League existence against Naga, already assured of the number 1 slot and a play-off place next week. With 4 players suspended and others rested, Naga's line-up was a strange one but they were still way too strong for Wat Phnom on the day, who despite some flickering resistance, were never in the hunt. The 9-4 win for Naga sealed Wat Phnom's relegation fate and also gave striker Teab Vathanak a serious chance of overhauling Julius Ononiwu at the top of the goalscorer's chart. His 5 goal haul puts him on 21 goals with the play-offs still to come, whilst Julius on 23 and has just this afternoon's game to play. Vathanak opened the floodgates on 11 minutes and netted again six minutes later, both regulation strikes. His strike partner Chin Chom then produced a moment of magic, weaving his way past five defenders and lashing home a low shot for a brilliant solo effort. Late in the first-half, Phlong Chanthou scored two superb goals for Wat Phnom, the first a neat chip and the second a rasping volley. Sandwiched in between, was a second for Chin Chom after Kop Isa's shot was saved. 4-2 at the interval and more goals to come. Phlong Chanthou was the first to reach his hat-trick, 18 minutes after the break, firing in from the edge of the area. Full credit to him for not taking his foot off the pedal but if Wat Phnom sensed a comeback, they were dashed 4 minutes later when Vathanak claimed his hat-trick. The goal was a strange one with Chin Chom having a big hand in it as the ball bounced around the six-yard box and as it eluded the keeper, Vathanak poked it in, though it looked over the line already to me. Two minutes later sub Sun Sovanrithy powered in a bullet header from a trademark Meas Channa cross to make it 6-3. Naga keeper Pich Rovin Yothin got in on the action when he saved a penalty from Phoeurn Saoroum and then blocked no less than two follow-up attempts. Vathanak waited just two minutes before netting again, from Sovanrithy's quick-feet in the box, and he then laid on another unselfish pass for Chin Chom to claim his third. The goal-fest continued with Wat Phnom's Ry Phearoeun poking home a loose ball and Vathanak finally wrapped it up, ten minutes from the end, when Sovanrithy teased the defence and back-heeled to his goal-hungry teammate who made no mistake. Naga go into next week's play-off semis on fire and will meet Phnom Penh Crown in what promises to be a real cracker. Don't miss it.
Wat Phnom went down 9-4 and also confirmed their relegation from the C-League. Phlong Chanthou (10) managed to sign-off with a hat-trick.

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