The midweek Metfone C-League fixture saw Naga Corp steamroll over a woeful Chhma Khmao with a 6-0 drubbing, boosting the confidence of the reigning league champions ahead of their Saturday departure to Yangon to take part in the 2010 AFC President’s Cup. Striker Teab Vatanak found the net four times Wednesday to condemn the league debutants from Svay Rieng to their fifth straight loss.
Naga coach Prak Sovanara made four changes to the starting line up that drew 2-2 against his former team Preah Khan Reach (PKR) in their last match. Chin Chun, Samuel Oseika, Kop Isa and goalkeeper Pich Varinyothin were dropped to the bench while Tiet Chandara, Tong Sotho, Kim Chanburith and stopper Kha Thera took their place in the starting line up in a 4-4-2 formation.
Chhma Khmao on the other hand were without coach Kiry Guon, who resigned after the 8-0 humiliation at the hands of Kirivong Sok Sen Chey last week. His replacement, Mey Sophat, took charge and set out his team to play a conservative 4-3-3.
Despite starting confidently and stringing together some neat passes, the Black Cats simply couldn’t find a way through the rock solid Naga defence.
Naga took some time to settle down but eventually seized the initiative and never looked back. With five minutes on the clock, Naga won their first corner kick and set piece specialist Meas Channa stepped up to hit an exquisite cross that sailed into the net unaided.
From then on there could be only one winner, although Chhma Khmao showed some resilience with Kung Moeurnvichit and Sok Kolarama creating problems for Naga, but lacking a final touch.
Moments before the break, Yemi Oyewole redeemed himself from two earlier misses inside the six-yard box when he found himself in acres of space right on the penalty spot to knock his half volley in off the upright, leaving goalkeeper Pen Socheat stranded.
Chmmao Khmer were still wondering what hit them when Naga made it three. Meas Channa sent in another magical cross, this time met by Teab Vatanak at the near post on the stroke of halftime.
The second period saw Chhmao Khmao fighting back with intent to limit Naga to only half chances.
As in the first half, Naga left it late before the goals started flowing. With a quarter of the game left, Teab Vatanak struck again to make put his side four goals to the good.
Chin Chun had been brought on at the hour mark and showed everyone why he deserved a place on the plane to Myanmar. The striker learned his lesson after missing twice through selfishness, by setting up Teab Vatanak for his hat trick with four minutes left of regulation time.
Then, inside stoppage time, Chin Chun had play waved on by referee Duong Sopheap after stealing the ball from Lear Sopheap will a strong challenge in the centre circle. Chin Chun was left with a one-on-one with the keeper, but opted to square to Teab Vatanak who graciously passed into the empty net to make it six for the champions.
Naga are now third on the table, tied on 11 points with Phnom Penh Crown, while write-offs Chhma Khmao face Wat Phnom Sunday for latest shot at that elusive first top tier goal.