Boeung Ket won the Hun Sen Cup for the first time on Wednesday after beating recently-crowned C-League champions Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on penalties in front of 6,100 fans at the RSN Stadium in Phnom Penh.
In doing so, they ended Svay Rieng’s hopes of achieving an unprecedented domestic double, and this after the title winners had come agonisingly short, on the last day of the league season, of going a whole campaign unbeaten for the first time.
It was Svay Rieng’s Cambodian international Hoy Phallin who missed the final spot-kick to send the Boeung Ket fans wild and ensure high-flying Svay Rieng’s season ended in heartbreak.
Wednesday’s match finished 1-1 in normal time, with Boeung Ket, who have won the league three times and were runners-up last year, taking the lead shortly after the break before Svay Rieng levelled through a controversial penalty.
The first half was a tactical stalemate, with two physical sides allowing little in the way of opportunities at either end, and they went in to the break deadlocked at 0-0.
But Boeung Ket struck swiftly three minutes after half-time, with striker Mon Vanda heading in a beautifully placed right wing cross to put his side in the driving seat.
Svay Rieng surged back, however, and after several chances went begging, finally found the breakthrough in the 70th minute.
After a corner was half cleared, a goalmouth scramble ensued and Boeung Ket were adjudged to have handled on the line.
Amid strenuous protests, the referee pointed to the spot and Svay Rieng No9 Nub Tola made no mistake with the penalty to level the match.
Svay Rieng had the better opportunities to win in normal time but were unable to find a way through as the Boeung Ket defence held firm.
As the final went into extra time, it was again Svay Rieng who were on the front foot.
Boeung Ket had a couple of shots on the break but neither team could hit the target and the match went to penalties.
The first spot-kick was saved by Svay Rieng ’keeper Aim Sovannarath before his Boeung Ket counterpart Hul Kimhuy beat out the fourth effort to tie things up.
After six subsequent scores, the shooutout headed to sudden death. Ly Vahed slotted in coolly for Boeung Ket to leave all the pressure on Phallin.
His weak effort to Kimhuy’s left was saved and Svay Rieng’s double dreams were over.
Hundreds of ecstatic Boeung Ket fans streamed onto the pitch to celebrate as the Kampong Cham-based outfit won the Cup for the first time in their history.