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Boeung Ket rescued by Vathanaka hat-trick

Army’s Phoung Soksana shoots as CMAC’s Adebayo Jamiu Ademola closes in at the Old Stadium yesterday.
Army’s Phoung Soksana shoots as CMAC’s Adebayo Jamiu Ademola closes in at the Old Stadium yesterday.

Boeung Ket rescued by Vathanaka hat-trick

Frontrunners Boeung Ket Angkor and Ministry of National Defence held on to their top spots with convincing victories over Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng and CMAC United, respectively, in the Metfone C-League action at the weekend.

The campaign heads for another short break until June 10 to make way for national team commitments, which include next Sunday’s friendly with Timor Leste ahead of a double-leg Asia Cup qualifying playoff against Chinese Taipei on June 2 and June 7.

In a dominant display at the Old Stadium yesterday, Army cast aside CMAC with ease, notching up a 3-0 win on the back of a two-goal haul from red-hot North Korean striker Choe Myong-ho.

But the storyline on Saturday at Olympic Stadium was packed with twists and turns as Boeung Ket conjured up a dream finish from being a goal down to Svay Rieng with a few bold moves from star striker Chan Vathanaka.

After the jolt of falling behind early in the second half, Beoung Ket showed great courage in their 3-1 victory on the back of Chan Vathanaka’s brilliant eight-minute hat-trick, with the final goal coming deep into injury time.

Boeung Ket refused to give up and their persistence was rewarded close to the end of regulation time in the form of an equaliser to Kipson’s 58th minute goal for the visitors.

When a neatly chipped-in cross from Japanese import Wada Yuya landed in the middle of the box, Vathanaka’s left-footed volley rocketed into the net and had Boeung Ket’s worried fans on their feet cheering.

The Hun Sen Cup holders didn’t know what hit them in the next few minutes as Vathanaka positioned himself not far from the goalmouth to teasingly put away two nice feeds from the right wing in rapid succession.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Tiger FC were served well by their strong Japanese contingent in a 6-0 thrashing of Western Phnom Penh. Yoshihara Masato, who opened the scoring as early as the 14th minute, had to wait until late in the game to complete his hat-trick while watching his fellow countryman Muramatsu Tonoki bag a brace.

Soung Virak, in fine form in the 8-1 midweek Hun Sen Cup thrashing of Boeung Ket Youth, also got his name on the scoresheet.

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