Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crown edge out Phouchung; Wat Phnom obliterate MKU

Crown edge out Phouchung; Wat Phnom obliterate MKU

Crown edge out Phouchung; Wat Phnom obliterate MKU

Phnom Penh Crown grab a goal late on to progress to the quarterfinals of the Samdech Hun Sen Cup, and Wat Phnom teaches Mekong Uni a free lesson


Phnom Penh Crown's Keo Sokngorn (centre) fires a shot past Phouchung Neak captain Khun Khoun (left) during their last 16 match of the Samdech Hun Sen Cup on Saturday.

Though the result was never really in doubt, reigning champions Phnom Penh Crown were made to play a waiting game before finally securing their passage into the quarterfinals of the 2010 Samdech Hun Sen Cup on Saturday at Olympic Stadium.

The Navy boys from Phouchung Neak had a game plan: Tackle hard, battle for everything, and don’t give Crown any time on the ball. It worked for 85 minutes, as the Cup favourites were frustrated by their opponents’ tactics.

Crown dominated possession throughout, but found Phouchung a tough nut to crack, typified by their skipper Khun Khoun, who kept the Crown striking pair of Chan Chhaya and Srey Veasna quiet and also managed to make two goalline clearances in the first half to keep it goalless.

Crown’s young midfield maestro, Keo Sokngorn, his head bandaged after a clash in the first half, was the standout player over the 90 minutes. His probing passes, surging runs, cute flicks and skill on the ball was a cut above anyone else, and a flash of brilliance on 66 minutes saw his 25-yard drive cannon off the crossbar. Two minutes later his quick feet in the box simply dazzled the two defenders trying to muzzle him, but his shot was tipped aside by keeper Thai Sineth.

Five bookings amply demonstrated the Navy side’s determined approach, though they also mastered the offside trap well, catching Crown’s straying strikers repeatedly.

On 70 minutes, Crown introduced Phouchung old boy Heng Sok Ly into the fray. The baby-faced striker was the Navy’s top-scoring and most impressive player last term.

Clad in his new team’s colours, he quickly set about sinking his former club, and succeeded with just five minutes of the game to go.

More wing-play wizardry from Keo Sokngorn and an inch-perfect cross found Heng Sokly to steer the ball home for the match-winner.


Mekong Kampuchea University’s Lem Ridath (left) vies with Wat Phnom’s Phoeun Saorum at Olympic Stadium Saturday.

In time added on, Phouchung bundled the ball into the Crown net, with their first chance of the game, but a linesman’s flag ruled out the effort for offside. After a brief melee, the referee blew his whistle to send Crown through to the next round.

Nuy Sam An, assistant coach of Phnom Penh Crown, was unconvinced but satisfied with the victory. “We need to strengthen for the next round,” he remarked.

Crown manager Be Makara also showed displeasure at the result. “We didn’t play good enough today. Some of my boys liked to keep the ball without passing to other colleagues. Our opponents were not too strong, but with this [bad] habit we lost many chances to score more goals,” the manager noted.

Heng Sok Ly was happy to net the winning goal, but admitted an awkward feeling for ousting his former side. “Playing against a team I used to play for is difficult, especially emotionally,” he stated. “But as a footballer, I wear Phnom Penh Crown’s shirt, so I have to do my best for my current team. On the field, I don’t show mercy towards anyone, but we are still good friends when we don’t play.”

Wat Phnom 10 – Mekong K Uni 1
There was no David and Goliath upset in this woefully one-sided affair, as Wat Phnom took control from kickoff to put their collegiate opponents to the sword in emphatic style.

Wat Phnom netted two goals in the first eight minutes through Tes Vatanak and Put Savuth, although Mekong Uni briefly rallied midway through the first half with a neat goal by Em Thun. Wat Phnom then extended their lead before the interval, and knocked in a stunning seven in the second half.

Two Wat Phnom players grabbed hat tricks. Srei Vandeth most impressively came off the bench on 64 minutes, and within 11 minutes he’d bagged his three goals. Ry Phearoeun was the other goal machine, scoring two late goals to add to his first half-pile driver. Wat Phnom’s other second-half goals came from Leang Sok Samnang and Phlong Chanthou as the one-way traffic overwhelmed their young opposition.

“I admire the performance of my players,” stated Phoeun Bunthoeun, assistant coach of Wat Phnom. “They had good cooperation. However, Mekong Kampuchea University are a young side. We will face the big team Phnom Penh Crown in the quarterfinals, so we need to work hard and I hope that my players will keep up their work rate to overcome this obstacle.”

Hat-trick hero Srey Vandeth was ecstatic to make such a resounding impact straight after coming off the bench, but also paid tribute to his teammates. “We couldn’t reach the next round only because of me. All of us understood each other very well, and we played by following the plan of the coaches.

“Now we have to prepare for the next game. We don’t know what will happen in the match between Phnom Penh Crown and us, but we need to do the best for our side.”

Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)

MOST VIEWED

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is