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Naga, Kirivong go forward

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Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s In Vichheka runs away from a tackle from a Takeo player during their last 16 match of the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Kirivong won the Takeo derby 4-1. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

THE final two slots for the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup quarterfinals were filled yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Metfone C-League heavyweight Naga Corp brushed aside provincial minnows Koh Kong 4-0 thanks to a 16 minute first-half blitz.

The visitors had their work cut out from early on, losing their keeper Soup Phy to a persistant leg strain after just ten minutes. His replacement, Chhin Leang Srun, struggled with the standard and made several panicked clearances during the contest.

On 23 minutes, Naga opened the scoring with experienced striker Teab Vathanak heading home from a Meas Channa corner. Three minutes later, and the roles were reversed as a Vathanak cross set up Channa to double their lead.

Vathanak then curled a sublime free kick over the wall and beyond the reach of the Koh Kong stopper from 25 metres out, and moments later Chin Chum got in on the fun with his own goal to set an intimidating scoreline going into the break.

After the restart, Naga seemed far less imposing with Vathanak and Chum squandering half chances.

Naga coach Prak Sovannara was delighted to see his side maintain their run of clean sheets in the competition, and wished for another in the next round.

Kirivong win battle of Takeo
In yesterday late kickoff, provincial rivals Kirivong Sok Sen Chey and Takeo played out an engaging match. Unsurprisingly, top tier outfit Kirivong emerged 4-1 victors over their hometown rivals, although Takeo had given a strong showing and had kept things at a stalemate up until halftime.

Indeed, they could’ve been ahead with the best chance coming from a Hy Sok Veng freekick from the left, which cannoned off the crossbar only for Kirivong keeper Kem Makara to scoop it up off the line.

Makara then had his heart in his mouth as he miskicked a passback but saw the ball dribble just wide of the post.

After the interval, Kirivong started to take control with Seng Kom Sen netting a neat freekick on 58 minutes, and Meak Chhordaravuth extending their advantage minutes later.

Hy Sok Veng, who played with Build Bright United last year, pegged one back for Takeo, before teammate Yem Bros missed an opportunity to draw the sides level.

In the 80th minutes, Kirivong hotshot grabbed the goal he was looking for all match to equal Khounla Boravy of Preah Khan Reach on 16 goals from the Cup campaign.

Boravy, who had turned up especially to watch the game in the hope that Vichheka would fail to find the net, expressed his displeasure from the stands at the thought of having to share the one million riels (US$248) cash prize for the Golden Boot with his national team roommate.

In the last minute of regulation time, Chhordaravuth sealed the victory with a strike to send Takeo packing.

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