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Capital clubs punish provincial minnows


Unheralded Koh Kong brazenly thumbed their nose at Preah Khan Reach with an early lead, only to have last year’s champs ruthlessly put them to the sword 9-1 in their Group C fixture of the 2012 Samdech Hun Sen Cup at Olympic Stadium yesterday. 

Striker Khuon Laboravy was at his fiery best as he hammered home half a dozen, five of them in the second session including an injury-time penalty conversion.

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In the same group, Build Bright United, who lost the final to PKR last year, opened their group campaign with a 9-2 win over an energetic but inexperienced Steung Treng in an earlier kick-off. The university side’s win was marked by a hat-trick from birthday boy Chun Sothearath.

The Military Police-backed PKR brought the full force of its well-stocked arsenal to bear on their provincial rivals after goalkeeper Sar Sophea lost his footing while going for a high ball from Khon Souk Chan.

The usually reliable PKR stopper helplessly watched the ball sail over him to give Koh Kong an unexpected 16th-minute lead.

As this drama unfolded, PKR’s most feared frontman, Khuon Laboravy, was still lumbering up. Once he started grating the grooves, there was no stopping him.

The versatile forward was all over Koh Kong once his co-striker Pani Rotha had levelled that shocking Koh Kong lead in the 24th minute.

It was Khuon Laboravy who shot PKR to the front at the stroke of half-time with a neat left-foot finish. But in the second half, he really turned tormentor-in-chief.

Two more goals came from his trusty left foot, with the next a perfect header. A twist and tuck gave him his fifth and he rounded off his tally with a firmly struck penalty.

With the PKR forward line driving Koh Kong to utter despair, Sok Chan Raksmey’s 75th-minute goal was another poke in the eye for the visitors’ defence.

There were countless near- misses for PKR, and Laboravy had a fair share of them. As for Koh Kong, life on the pitch was miserable, except for an odd attempt to break in.

When BBU played Stung Treng, Chun Sothearath made it abundantly clear as early as the ninth minute he was out to celebrate his birthday in the best manner possible. His wish was granted.

Sothearath’s strike set a neat pattern of success for the university side. He doubled his contribution in the 26th minute after Om Chandara had stretched the lead moments earlier.

Sotherath’s third link in the hat-trick came late in the second half, but by then BBU were well served by a brace each from Prum Puthsethy and Seng Kosen. In that late rush of goals, Chea Sophany also managed to sneak onto the score sheet for BBU.

Stung Treng’s counters were few and far between. But on the two ocasions they managed to break free, they met with a degree of success.

The provincial side’s first goal came in the 43rd minute from Ky Kim Sophat and their second a minute before regulation time from Kim Panha.

Over at the Old Stadium, a new-look Phnom Penh Crown rained goals on a hapless Kratie in their Group D fixture, recording a thumping 16-0 victory, with 10 of those coming off the boot of striker Kuoch Sokumpheak.

A Leng Makara hat-trick added lustre to the defending Metfone C-League champions’ grand show, during which Sokumpheak was nailing goals at regular intervals.

Sok Pheng, Khim Borey and Chun Sovanna also got their names on the scorers’ list in what was a procession.

But in sharp contrast to this woefully one-sided affair came a dramatic win for National Police Commissary against Boeung Ket Rubber Field.

In a game full of thrust and parry, an 86th-minute penalty for the Policemen proved decisive. Touch Panhcharong was pulled up by the referee for a bad tackle inside the area on Police midfielder Noun Borey.

The resultant spot kick was neatly converted by Srey Udom, who has changed his name from Sophal Udom.

The weekend is full to the brim with fixtures, four per day, including tomorrow’s blockbuster at the Old Stadium between last year’s finalists PKR and BBU.

Weekend Fixtures
Friday February 3

Playing at Olympic Stadium
National Defence Ministry v Kirivong Sok Sen Chey – 2pm
Kampot v Asia Europe University – 4pm

Playing at Old Stadium
Naga Corp v Chhlam Samuth – 2pm
Battambang v Pailin – 4pm

Saturday February 4

Playing at Olympic Stadium
Phnom Penh Crown v National Police Commissary – 2pm
Boeung Kat Rubber Field v Kratie – 4pm

Playing at Old Stadium
Preah Khan Reach v Build Bright United – 2pm
Stung Treng v Koh Kong – 4pm

Sunday February 5
Playing at Olympic Stadium
Battambang v Naga Corp – 2pm
Chhlam Samuth v Pailin – 4pm

Playing at Old Stadium
Kampot v National Defence Ministry – 2pm
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey v Asia Europe University – 4pm

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