Undeterred by their recent travails at home, Boeung Ket Angkor put in an outstanding performance to down nine-time S-League champions Warriors FC 4-1 in the preliminary round of the RHB Singapore Cup at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium late on Monday night.
Boeung Ket, who were beaten 4-1 by Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar United in the first round on their debut four years ago, will face the winners of tonight’s clash between local side Balestier Khalsa and the Metfone C-League’s NagaWorld in the quarterfinals.
Khun Laboravy, who received praise from Cambodia head coach Leonardo Vittorino earlier in the day as a hard worker on the pitch, lived up to that label with a deserved hat-trick against a side profligate in front of goal that was weakened in defence after captain Baihakki Khaizan’s dismissal for a second bookable offence in the 68th minute.
For Boeung Ket’s interim manager Hoa Socheat, who took over from Australian John McGlynn four weeks ago, the victory would have come as a relief following the team’s recent loss of form in the Metfone C-League before leaving for Singapore, going down 2-1 to Phnom Penh Crown after having lost by the same margin to Commissary of National Police the week before.
The 38-year-old Socheat was understandably pleased with his side’s performance and put it down to good all-round teamwork.
“When one team is reduced to 10 men it is always an advantage for the other. Warriors had many chances but could not exploit them,” the Boeung Ket coach was quoted as saying in local media.
Warriors coach Razif Onn was in no doubt that Khaizan’s sending off was a big blow from which his side could not recover. “It was not easy to contain Boeung Ket with 10-men,” he said.
After a goalless first half, Esoh Paul Omogba punished a poor backpass from Warriors defender Joel Tshimbamba to give Boeung Ket the much needed boost they were looking for.
Moments later the Nigerian midfielder was back in the limelight, nicely setting up a header for Laboravy.
The red card was shown to Warriors captain Khaizan not long later after a clumsy challenge on Boeung Ket’s Japanese import Hikaru Mizuno, who incidentally scored for S-League giants Albirex Niigata in a 6-0 rout of the Warriors two years ago.
Positioning himself aggressively, Laboravy added two more to complete his well deserved hat-trick, and by the time Hafiz Nor netted the Warriors a consolation goal in the 78th minute, the outcome of the game had long been decided.