Crown’s Kouch Sokumpheak springs to kick a high ball during the game against Chhlam Samuth. Photos by: Sreng Meng Srun
Striker Khuon Laboravy’s splendid hat-trick helped 10-man Preah Khan Reach edge a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Neak Khiev in the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup last 16 knockout round yesterday at the Olympic Stadium.
An audacious volley from a rebound off the crossbar marked the beginning of Laboravy’s goal-quest on 10 minutes. However, Neak Khiev hit back 13 minutes later against run of play when Yob Romatorn managed to sneak into the box and hoodwink the PKR goalkeeper.
The Kampong Cham outfit then took the lead when PKR defender Sok Rithy calamitously found his own net with a wayward clearance in the box.
The second period was all about Laboravy, as he drew his team level with a 30-yard screamer of a free kick on 61 minutes before snatching the win with quarter-of-an-hour left on the clock through a well-weighted header.
It had seemed an uphill struggle for PKR, who had lost their captain Sam El Nasa to his second bookable offence early in the second half. Undaunted by the loss of man-power PKR wriggled out of a tight situation, Laboravy deservingly heading home the winner with the captain’s armband that was handed to him.
With the three-goal haul, Laboravy took his Cup tally to 16 goals from four games to lead the Golden Boot category, one ahead of Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s In Vichheka who plays next weekend.
Crown crush Chhlam Samuth
In yesterday’s later kickoff, last year’s runners-up Phnom Penh Crown soundly thrashed Chhlam Samuth 5-1.
Crown hotshot Kouch Sokumpheak was first on the score sheet after 26 minutes. The nippy forward was then tripped in the area by Chhlam Samuth defender Chham Bunchhai, and Tieng Tiny duly dispatched the spotkick to give Crown a two-goal cushion at the break.
It was mostly one-way traffic after the restart, with Hong Ratana nailing a screamer from distance on 71 minutes. Ex-Crown defender Ek Sovannara pegged one back for Chhlam Samuth against his former employers to give a brief respite, but goals from San Narith – who set off from the half way line and mazed his way through a succession of tackles to score – and another for Sokumpheak in injury time put the tie to bed.
PKR advance to face Prek Pra Keila in the quarterfinals, while Crown take on Build Bright United. Both fixtures are slated to be played on February 26.