A last-gasp strike by Hong Makara gave outsiders CMAC United a thrilling 2-1 win over last year’s runners-up NagaWorld in the last of yesterday’s Hun Sen Cup quarterfinals played at a floodlit Olympic Stadium.
The winning goal almost met the final whistle as Naga goalkeeper Phoung Rathana fumbled while collecting a long range attempt from Makara.
It was another Rathana error of judgment that had given CMAC a seventh-minute lead, an opportunistic Oeun Phearak heading in over the onrushing goalkeeper and a couple of Naga defenders.
It had taken almost an hour of sustained effort for Naga to find the equaliser in the form of a Sok Sovanarithy penalty that was awarded when defender Prum Samoun inadvertently handled the ball while trying to clear a goal-bound shot.
For relative newcomers CMAC, the victory over the mighty Naga marks a high in domestic competition. They will now cross paths with the Ministry of National Defence, who efficiently sidelined Cambodian Tiger FC 4-0 at RSN Stadium.
A fourth-minute goal by Chrerng Polroth saw Army grab the early initiative. An own goal after the half-hour mark boosted Army, and Reung Bunheang came up with the side’s third goal before Pov Phearith signed off the final tally.
Earlier in the afternoon, Svay Rieng’s pride, Preah Khan Reach crossed a major hurdle in their defence of the Cup after edging out arch rivals Boeung Ket Angkor 2-1 in an intense contest at Old Stadium.