Monday, March 10, 2014

Favourites fall from grace

It all went tits-up for the favourites in yesterday's Hun Sen Cup semi-finals. Boeung Ket and NagaCorp were already thinking about next Saturday's final, or so it appeared, judging by their ineffectual performances against their lesser-fancied opponents. Build Bright United had already shown with their win over Phnom Penh Crown a few days before, that they can spring a surprise, and they did it again as they took the game to the Rubbermen from the start. Despite a few near misses for Boeung Ket, including a long range effort from Chan Vathanaka that struck the crossbar, BBU were more than a match for the competition faves. The quality of football by both teams was disappointing, as it was in the second semi-final, though the pitch at the Olympic Stadium is not exactly conducive to a free-flowing passing style. BBU's winner came from Prum Putsethy, with an over-the-shoulder hit and hope that befuddled Peng Bunchhay and proved to be the game's only highlight, moments before the interval. Under the floodlights, National Police showed their battling qualities as they dug deep to inflict an extra-time 1-goal win over NagaCorp. Again, the football on offer wouldn't win any prizes for excellence, but Police won't mind a jot and it took a typical Tith Dina shot, through a crowd of legs, to settle this semi-final. So a far-from-expected cup final line-up next Saturday, under lights, as BBU meet Police, kick-off 5.30pm. The losing teams will meet in the 3rd place play-off on Wednesday.

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