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Capital punishment


Banteay Meanchey province feel the might of Preah Khan Reach, while Battambang province are battered by Post Tel Club’s perfect ten

Preah Khan Reach’s Suon Thuon (centre, green shirt) battles in the air with three Banteay Meanchey players.

ON the second day of the knockout stage of the 2009 Samdech Hun Sen Cup Saturday, Phnom Penh sides exerted their dominance over their provincial opposition as last year's runners-up Preah Khan Reach (PKR) overcame a shaky start to win 6-2 against cometition newcomers Banteay Meanchey province (BMC). Post Tel Club thrashed Cup debutants Battambang Province 10-0 in the second game.

A thrilling first half saw BMC's seventh-minute opening goal by Ka Zaki cancelled out by an equalising own goal from defender Ro Zaly. A second from Ka Zaki for BMC again saw the hometown favourites level proceedings with a strike from Khoun La Boravy on 44 minutes. And on the stroke of half time, PKR managed to put their noses in front through striker Hok Sochetra to enter the break, somewhat fortunate to be ahead 3-2.

The second half was a one-sided affair as PKR stamped their authority on the game without reply. Khoun La Boravy got his second and Prak Mony Udon scored a brace to put the game beyond doubt.

Battambang battered
Hometown favourites Post Tel Club were pitted against Battambang province in the day's later kickoff fixture as the province side made their first appereance in the Olympic Stadium, described as "a huge achievement" by Swiss coach Samuel Schweingruber. "Battambang has, until recently, never really made a good impression in the football world," he said. "We are trying to change [that] image."

They could've done with easier opposition.
Despite starting well, the Battambang team conceded the first goal in the 12th minute. Hok Sochivoan, a former PKR player and younger brother of footballing star Hok Sochetra, controlled a long pass from midfield in the penalty area. His first effort on goal was saved by Battambang goalkeeper Tith Eng Srun. He made no mistake with the rebound.

Battambang soon rallied to gain a free kick 20 metres out, only to see the shot riccochet back off the wall in what was to be the provincial team's only chance of the game.

Post Tel's second goal came shortly afterwards when a cross into the box from the left wing caused confusion between goalkeeper and central defender, allowing Ek Vannak to tap in from one metre out.

Battambang heads then dropped, their peformance marred by a distinct lack of confidence and structure. And Post Tel soon capitalised with easy goals from Gafar Durosinmi and Hok Sochivoan to secure a comfortable 4-0 lead at half time.

The onslaught continued just two minutes into the second half, with Hok Sochivoan bagging his hattrick. The Battambang players must have soon been aching for the final whistle in a half that saw Post Tel score a further five goals with Hok Sochivoan adding one more to his tally, Ek Vannak completing his own hattrick, Durosinmi getting a second and Ho Sambo putting his name on the score sheet a minute into stoppage time.


Post Tel Club’s Gafar Durosinmi (right) steams through midfield past Battambang captain Phorn Borey.

Learning curve
When the dust settled, Post Tel had filled both digits on the electronic scoreboard with a resounding 10-0 victory over an embarassed Battambang province.

After the match, Battambang coach Schweingruber said he'd hoped his team could've held the Post Tel offence longer and was disappointed to see the players' composure collapse after falling two behind.

The coach went on to voice his disapproval at his team failure to prepare fully for the game, snubbing training sessions for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

"They didn't take it seriously enough," he said.
"We are not happy, but we are not devastated about losing 10-0," Schweingruber added. "In Battambang, there is no competition. My team is the best in the province, by far. I hope my players can learn [from this defeat]."

The Swiss now hopes to divert his attention to other teams in the province. "One of my focuses is to train up local coaches and to inspire youth to dream big. If things go well, we should also have a good chance in the upcoming female competitions, as we have already trained girls for many months."

Preah Khan Reach and Post Tel Club will face each other in the quarterfinals on Saturday, February 28, at 4:15pm.

Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)

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