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Boeung Ket set up final with Thai champions

Casting aside Metfone C League season disappointments, Boeung Ket Angkor stormed into the final of the Toyota Mekong Club Championship after a spectacular hat-trick from Chan Vathanaka saw the side past V League champions and current Mekong champions Becamex Binh Duong FC 3-2 at the Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi on Sunday.

Known the Chelsea of Vietnam, Becamex were forced by the brilliance of Vathanaka to experience the same feeling of hurt and desperation that has so often nagged the Blues this season. Eventually they were done in by a one-man demolition job.

Coach Prak Sovanara is not the type for theatrics on the touchline but even he could not resist a public display of his exultation by hopping around with joy after Vathanaka’s thunderous volley off a Samuel Ajayi cross bulged the net to give Boeung Ket a 3-1 advantage.

Becamex pulled one back through Nguyen Anh’s penalty conversion late in the game but by then the gong had already sounded for the home side.

The coach’s ecstatic mood not only reflected the quality of the strike but it also served to highlight the significance of this victory.

Boeung Ket will now travel to Bangkok to face Thai league cup winners Buriram United, who celebrated retaining the Thai Premier League with a 6-0 victory over Saraburi on Sunday. The match will take place at the National Stadium on December 20.

Becamex got off to a roaring start when Nsi Amougou produced a strong header in the 13th minute to snatch the lead for his side.

The visitors had to wait until the 40th minute to restore parity and it came in the shape of a penalty after Esoh Omogba had been wrestled down inside the box. Vathanaka stepped into turn the spot kick into an equaliser as the teams ended the first half 1-1.

It was midway through the second session that Vathanaka completely caught Becamex off guard with his pace, sprinting with the ball past a couple of defenders and polishing off his solo with a firm left foot shot.

But Vathanaka’s best was reserved for the last and deservedly it was a volley of high quality and assurance, a goal written on the ball the moment he greeted the well-measured cross from the far right.

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