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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Naga nick Police, Army stay on course to retain title

Naga nick Police, Army stay on course to retain title

National Defence Ministry’s Keo Vannak (right) vies with Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s Sos Naseat during their Samdech Hun Sen Cup quartefinal yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Two goals in extra-time saw Naga Corp fend off a gallant bid by newly promoted National Police Commissary to win 3-2 at Olympic Stadium yesterday and earn a place in the semifinals of the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup.

The sides fought tooth and nail to emerge 1-1 at the end of regulation time after Kop Isa’s 33rd minute strike for Naga was neutralised by Sophal Udom’s 68th minute deflected shot for Police.

But Naga’s hard working forward Teab Vathanak got his act together two minutes into the extra time to grab the momentum for his side. Then, a minute before the end of the second spell, Chhim Sambo put the result beyond the reach of the Police with a neat placement. Ieng Tin’s mesmerising goal almost synchronised with the final whistle but proved only consolation.

It was during testing times during the two 15-minute halves of extra time. Two Police players lost their cool and were given marching orders. Touch Panhcharong was first to be red carded after he appeared to kick Sun Sovanrithy as Naga moved deep inside the Police team’s 18-yard box. Then Sophal Udum got into a heated argument with a linesman and was dismissed for repeated dissent.  

Naga Corp will cross paths with Preah Khan Reach in the semifinals at 3pm next Saturday, while Police Commissary will go back to the training ground to prepare for their debut season in the Metfone C-League.

Army maintain Cup defence
In yesterday’s later kickoff, holders National Defence Ministry (MND) made their way into the semifinals with a 4-1 drubbing of Kirivong Sok Sen Chey.

A splendid header off a near perfect Pheak Rady cross by Keo Vannak marked the Army’s early ascendancy as they controlled space and possession.

However, Kirivong pulled off an equaliser minutes before the breather. The diminutive Chhaing Sophal zigzagged his way through a host of defenders to score a goal of sheer individual brilliance to lift the Takeo based outfit.

The complexion of the game turned in favour of MND soon after resumption when Keo Vannak produced another header of merit to complete his brace.

Relentless pressure on the Kirivong goal opened up huge spaces for the Army forward line to work on and Phlong Chanthou blasted home the side’s third goal before Chhin Chhoeun completed the tally.

There were a couple of creative raids by Kirivong, but MND’s new goalkeper Oum Vicheth kept a perfect vigil, twice intercepting dangerous moves inside his box.

MND are scheduled to take on BBU in the semifinal next week.



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