Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Army in command

The Army team led by Thong Udom, with red armband
The final tie of the weekend's Hun Sen Cup QFs saw the Army (Ministry of National Defense) put Kirivong in their place with a 4-1 success and keep alive their hopes of repeating last season's cup success. Without suspended top scorer In Vichheka, Kirivong had to reply on nippy frontman Chhaing Sophal to create havoc, which he did for a fine solo goal in the first half but he lacked support as the Army went onto dominate. I'm pretty sure he played for Kirivong last season under his Vietnamese name of Tran Cong Danh and with only Cambodian players able to play in the Hun Sen Cup, presumably he has a dual nationality passport. I forgot to mention that on Saturday BBU had wanted to play Srey Vesana, even though he is on the books of a Thai team, Loei City, for this coming season. They didn't, which avoided making a mockery of international regulations but presumably he was on holiday in Phnom Penh and fancied a game. Anyway, back to the final cup tie of the round. On 32 minutes Pheak Rady went on one of his trademark runs down the right flank and his pinpoint cross was headed in by Keo Vannak for the opener. Ten minutes later, Rady lost possession and allowed Chhaing Sophal to go one one of his mazy, weaving runs, eluding tackles before rolling it wide of the approaching keeper to level the tie. The keeper happens to be Oum Vichet who looks to be another great find by the Army team who consistently produce the best young keepers in the country.
Though the game lacked the spark of the other cup ties, the Army strengthened their grip on the match on the hour when Rady repeated his cross-on-the-run move and Vannak was again waiting to rise high and head home his second goal. Two minutes later and the result was all over bar the shouting. Touch Sokheng fed Ploung Chanthou and he squeezed his shot inside the near post. I got bored with noting all the substitutions before Chhin Chhoeurn brought me back to life with a glorious thirty yard effort that sailed into the net in the first minute of injury time to provide Army with a 4-1 success and the right to meet BBU in the semi-finals.
Kirivong missed their suspended top scorer In Vichheka
A look at the game under the weakened floodlights

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