Two-time winners, Svay Rieng and NagaWorld set up a final showdown in the prestigious Hun Sen Cup after winning their semifinal matches in differing styles at the Svay Rieng Stadium yesterday evening.
While the home side got the measure of TriAsia 1-0 , NagaWorld edged out defending-champions National Police Commissary in a penalty shootout after a 120-minute goalless deadlock.
The local fans had a lot to cheer about when Prak Mony Odom fired the first salvo for Svay Rieng well before the break, and the 2013 Metfone C League champions secured themselves a chance to win the coveted piece of silverware for the third time following their back-to-back triumphs in 2011 and 2012 when Prak Mony Odom bagged a second at the death.
In the first semifinal, it took two brilliant saves by Naga goalkeeper Samrith Seiha to bring down cup holders Police, who had fought on level terms throughout regulation time and the 30 minutes of extra time.
In a pulsating atmosphere, Tit Dina turned in the first of the five spot-kicks for Police with absolute confidence, Naga captain Sun Sovanarithy made it 1-1 and then the Police shot themselves in the foot in what turned out to be a nightmarish finish for them, the Naga custodian using his agility to good effect by diving to his right to thwart Srey Odom’s next kick.
Naga took a 2-1 lead when Sok Seng-dara nailed his kick, and Samrith Seiha was back, this time to move swiftly to his left to keep away Moeng Phanith’s attempt (pictured, Sreng Meng Srun).
It was now up to Teab Vathanak to consolidate Naga’s lead, and to the delight of his team-mates, he neatly placed the ball away to cushion the lead to 3-1.
As the horror-struck Police looked on, San Tideth drove the ball wide and it was all over for the defending champions as the 2013 champs Naga got home with two kicks to spare.