Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dreams shattered

Svay Rieng, not exactly enjoying the weather in Mongolia
Svay Rieng's AFC President's Cup dreams were left in tatters yesterday as they made an early exit from the competition, during the qualifying group stage in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. Two games, two defeats will see a return home for the Military-Police backed squad who found not only the football, but the cold weather, not to their liking. Yesterday's 3-1 defeat to the home team, Erchim was pretty much expected, after the Cambodian champions were trounced 6-3 against the Nepalese representatives, Manang Marshyangdi, a couple of days before. It was not the Svay Rieng that won the C-League title last season that travelled to Mongolia and they went into the tournament in the middle of an indifferent series of results at home. Teenage striker, Gal-erdene Soyol-erdene, scored twice for Erchim yesterday, after SVR's Nen Sothearoth had opened the scoring with an own goal. Despite Prak Mony Udom netting an equaliser on fifteen minutes, Erchim took the lead just after the half-hour and then wrapped up the result with a penalty on the stroke of half-time. There was no way back for the Khmer team and they lost Suon Veasna to a red card just to add insult to injury. 3,620 watched the match in sunny but bitterly cold conditions. In their opening game, Svay Rieng were 3-nil down within the opening thirty minutes, which included an own goal from Moul Daravorn. SVR pulled it back to 3-2 with goals either side of the interval through Nub Tola and Suon Veasna, before the Nepal champs stepped up a gear and rattled in three more goals, with Tola grabbing a late consolation. It would need a miracle in their remaining match for SVR to progress and that miracle simply didn't happen. Svay Rieng will be on their travels again at the end of the month, as they've been drawn to play Albirex Niigata in the RHB Singapore Cup. Also joining them are NagaCorp, who asked to join the party and were accepted. They will meet last season's cup winners, Home United. The matches are one-off games to be played in Singapore. Both Khmer teams will be up against two of the best teams in Singapore, so don't hold your breath on them progressing any further.

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