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Hosts book semis berth


Banteay Meanchey striker Kim Srey Yuen (centre, red) scores her second goal of the National Women’s Football Championship group match against Siem Reap yesterday at the Meanchey University. Photo by: SAM SCHWEINGRUBER

Hosts Bantaey Meanchey comfirmed their place in the semifinals and strongly staked their claims for top place in the group after registering an impressive 3-1 victory over Siem Reap yesterday, with striker Kim Srey Yuen’s scoring two well-merited goals at the Meanchey University ground.

It was indeed a tale of two Kims, as the other striker Kim Sopheak opened the scoring and provided a perfect pass for her strike partner to double the lead with a simple tap in.

After resumption, a cleverly placed lob over an advancing Siem Reap goaltender gifted Kim Srey Yuen her second and stretched their lead to three.

Chhum Mina pulled one back for Siem Reap, banging home a rebound when the Banteay Meanchey stopper clumsily spilled a ball collection. Siem Reap were already assured of advancing to the next round, having won their first three fixtures.

The first game of the day at the university field produced a fiercely contested goalless draw between Kampong Thom and Prey Veng, who were left ruing several easy chances that went begging. Both teams will miss out on the semifinals, and have just a game left to record their only victories.

Meanwhile, action at the Phnom Bak school pitch saw Stung Treng cling on to a tenacious 58th-minute goal by Ok Nida to down Indochina Starfish by the slender 1-0 margin.

The day’s most striking performance came from Kandal, who drove Pailin in circles to sail home 4-1 winners. Goalscoring honours were equally shared by Taing Malin and Cheng Sira with a brace each. Pailin, who managed to break out of the Kandal shackles on a couple of occasions, reduced the margin through Roum Sokheng.

In a top of the table clash of Group B, Battambang and Stung Treng are set to do battle at 9:15am this morning for the coveted first spot. While Battambang are guaranteed of a playoff place, a loss of two-or-more goals for Stung Treng would see their second place usurped by Kandal. However, a win for Stung Treng would see them end the group stage ahead of Battambang.

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