Svay Rieng coach Sam Vandeth said yesterday that the club are aiming to build on their Hun Sen Cup victory after attributing the win to excellent teamwork and preparation.
He said the victory was extra special because it happened in front of the home fans, in the main stadium of their brand new football complex.
“The Hun Sen Cup is a massive win, and we had to be at our best to defeat NagaWorld because they are a very strong team,” he said.
He said Svay Rieng will be strengthening the squad for the upcoming 2015 Metfone C League in June by adding four foreign players, three Nigerians and one Japanese.
Vandeth said: “We are signing these foreign players to strengthen the team for the Metfone C League season, and our local players are in very good form, as this win shows.”
Cheered on by huge local support Svay Rieng won the prestigious Hun Sen Cup for a record third time in eight years after beating NagaWorld 2-1 in a thrilling final at the provincial capital’s main stadium on Saturday evening.
A match full of thrust and parry seemed destined for extra time after Naga equalisd through Sun Sophana at the stroke of the hour after Prak Mony Odom’s swirling free kick gave the home team a 1-0 lead moments before the half-time break.
But the back-to-back champions of 2011 and 12 retook the lead with a goal a minute into injury time with Nub Tola finishing after the Naga backline was caught off guard.
The Svay Rieng midfielder’s angled shot on the run was cued well enough to beat Naga goalkeeper Samirth Seiha.
There was hardly any time left for the 2013 winners to get back into a match that took a turn for the worse after captain Sun Sovanarithy was somewhat controversially booked twice in two minutes by referee Tuy Vichika for an incident inside the Svay Rieng penalty box.
Though Naga enjoyed the greater percentage of possession they were hard pressed for space as Svay Rieng more than held their own.
There were a couple of gilt edged chances Naga missed, notably a Teab Vathanak attempt from close range and a free header that Nhim Sovanara could not control.
The breakthrough for Svay Rieng came a minute into added time before the break when they were given a free kick not far from Naga’s box.
Prak Mony Odom, who often excels himself in such set-piece situations produced a stunningly bold strike that curled in over the Naga wall and well out of Samirth Seiha’s reach.
Taking advantage of confusion inside the Svay Rieng box, Sun Sophana turned the ball in from close range to keep the game on an even keel for Naga until Sovanarithy’s dismissal rattled the side and the home team converted the late opportunity for the winner just when Naga appeared to have ridden out the storm.
TriAsia finish third
TriAsia completed their creditable campaign by defeating holders National Police Commissary 3-0 in the third-place playoff.
Midfielder Suong Virak struck a brace for TriAsia, scoring first seconds into added time before the break and then finishing off the game in the 84th minute after Sok Chan Rasmey had got the second goal two minutes earlier.
Additional reporting by Norn chhorn