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Banteay Meanchey triumph

With a vociferous home crowd cheering them on every kick of the way, unbeaten Banteay Meanchey proved far too strong for Siem Reap as they clinched the 2010 National Women’s Football Championship with a 4-1 victory in the final at Meanchey University yesterday.

Ever alert Til Srey Mao reacted with great alacrity to a miscued goal kick to fire Bantaey Meanchey into the lead on 23 minutes. The home side’s superiority in all facets of the game was never in doubt from then on.

Striker Kim Sopheak capped a brilliant individual effort through the backline with a neat chip over the keeper to ensure a 2-0 cushion into the break. Siem Reap’s troubles were further compounded when their stopper picked up an injury on the pitch and had to be replaced for the second session.

A breathtaking solo run by Sok Oun sent hundreds of fans into a wild celebration when she managed to break into the box for her side’s third goal that nearly broke Siem Reap’s back.

However, the deflated visitors had their spirits somewhat revived, at least momentarily, when Huev Yav found the net, making the most of a rare drop of guard by the Bantaey Meanchey defence.

But ideas of a comeback were quickly dispelled, as Banteay Meanchey substitute Bun Kim Houv ensured that she got the better of exchanges with Siem Reap’s replacement keeper, who had done well to block two goal bound shots in quick succession.

Battambang claim third place
In the third place playoff earlier yesterday at the same venue, Battambang were back to their best in beating Steung Treng 3-1, with 14-year-old Dep Panida conjuring a brace that pushed her total tournament tally to eight and confirming her golden boot honour.

The teenager’s first goal was a distant drive that found the top corner of the net, and in sharp contrast her second was a neat inside foot finish in a crowded box.

12-year-old Lieng Srey Pouv’s swift reaction goal from inside the box added to the Battambang cause, before Stung Treng managed to reduce the margin when Vuth Lary’s goal bound effort took a freakish bounce over the Battambang keeper.

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