Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cup quarterfinals set to begin

Cup quarterfinals set to begin

Cup quarterfinals set to begin

The weekend will see teams face off at Olympic Stadium for the chance to play in the Samdech Hun Sen Cup semifinals, with intriguing matchups on offer

TWO of the eight teams that have qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2010 Samdech Hun Sen Cup are in uncharted territory, with the remaining six sides – unsurprisingly, all Cambodian Premier League clubs – having previously made the grade.

Wat Phnom, who last year plied their trade as Spark FC and successfully avoided relegation from the top tier, made the quarterfinals for the first time in their history, and Kampong Chhnang outfit Rithi Sen also broke new ground and surprised everyone by beating the favoured Kirivong Sok Sen Chey 4-2 in the last-16 knockout stage.

Spectators at Olympic Stadium over the past two weeks have also been treated to fine displays by provincial sides Chhma Khmao (Svay Rieng), Koh Kong and Oddar Meanchey, who couldn’t quite handle the quality of their experienced opponents. Here is a breakdown of quarterfinal matches to be played this Saturday.


Phnom Penh Crown’s Srey Veasna hits a half volley during their match against Phouchung Neak.
Wat Phnom’s Khieu Vibol charges during their match against Mekong Kampuchea University.
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)

Phnom Penh Crown v Wat Phnom
A late solitary strike from substitute Heng Sok Ly against his former team Phouchung Neak on January 30 helped the two-time winners Phnom Penh Crown advance to the last eight of the tournament. They now face Wat Phnom, who the same day destroyed Mekong Kampuchea University 10-1. Though both teams have met in the CPL, this will be their first Cup tie against each other.

Last year, Wat Phnom were knocked out in the preliminary round, but this year’s tournament saw them finish second after Koh Kong in group F, played in Kep. Fortune was clearly on their side, as they were drawn against a shell-shocked college team who were easily dispatched to make the next round.

Vann Dara, Wat Phnom’s manager, knows his team has their work cut out in the quarterfinals. “Phnom Penh Crown will be our big challenge,” he said. “We need to strengthen our squad. However, I’m so happy with the results from the previous matches. My players did their job well; they had good communication between each other to manage the ball.”

In last year’s CPL season, Phnom Penh Crown took all six points from Wat Phnom, winning 2-1 and 6-3.

“On the basis of history, we have better results than Wat Phnom,” stated Crown manager Be Makara. “But what they did against Mekong Kampuchea University in the knockout stage impressed me too much. Their players gave a great performance with a good one-to-one passing network. So we need to be careful for the upcoming match.”

However, the Crown boss was not satisfied with their game against Phouchung Neak. “We might have scored more than one goal if my players had shown good cooperation,” he opined. “Some of them liked keeping the ball without passing to other teammates. I want them to avoid this attitude.”


Build Bright United’s Hy Sok Veng plays during their match against Prey Veng January 31.
Build Bright United’s Hy Sok Veng plays during their match against Prey Veng January 31.
Photos by Pha Lina

Naga Corp v Build Bright Utd
Current CPL champions Naga Corp have failed at the final hurdle in two previous Cup campaigns. In the inaugural cup in 2007, they lost to Khemara 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation time. In 2008, they were knocked out by Phnom Penh Crown in the last-16 stage, but reached the final once more last year, where Crown again beat them 1-0.

Build Bright United (BBU) also boast a promising Cup record, having qualified from the preliminary rounds of all three previous tournaments and making the semifinal stage twice. In 2007, they won the fair play award after losing 4-1 to Phnom Penh Crown in the third-place playoff. They went one better in 2008 to claim third after beating Khemara Keila. However, in 2009 they came up against Crown in the last-16 round, losing 1-0.

In five CPL meetings between the sides, the tally stands at 3-2 in favour of Naga. Last year, Naga thrashed BBU 5-2, but the university-backed side took revenge in the reverse fixture, winning 3-2.

In the knockout stage, BBU trounced provincial side Prey Veng 7-0, while Naga ploughed in four in the last 14 minutes to win 6-2 over Chhma Khmao.

“I respect the opponents who reached this step,” expressed BBU coach Meas Sam Oeurn. “The only thing that we must do is train up our squad. I believe in my young boys, they will try their best for victory.”

However, the coach revealed some injury troubles. “Now we have problems with two midfielders, Oum Chandara and Chhun Sothearath. I hope Chandara will recover quickly because he has only a small ankle injury, but Sothearath, who is also a midfielder for the national team, may be absent because he has a severe problem with his ankle and knee. Doctors have recommended he stay home for a few months. Maybe I’ll use striker Prum Puthsethy to play in the central position, but it’ll be a big problem for us in attack.”

Nov Vuthy, newly-appointed coach of Naga Corp, said he hoped his team could go all the way this year, but showed respect for his opponents. “We have many experienced players. I think that everything will be okay for us. However, we must learn our weakness, and we will reinforce ahead of the upcoming match. BBU is not an easy team – we were beaten by them in the past.”

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

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • 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

  • Planning ministry hands out cash to 420,000 poor families in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Planning has identified 20,000 more poor families in the country, bringing the total to over 580,000, while over 420,000 of them have received the government’s cash assistance. In the meantime, many social security cards from families not deemed to be poor have been revoked.

  • 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