Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Late Hilal Al-Quds goal seals Boeung Ket’s fate

Late Hilal Al-Quds goal seals Boeung Ket’s fate

Late Hilal Al-Quds goal seals Boeung Ket’s fate

27 Chan Vathanaka Boeng ket

Striker Iyad Abu Gharquod was hailed as a hero in the city of Al Ram as Palestine celebrated an astounding success by the Jerusalem-based Hilal Al-Quds, who squeezed out a 1-0 win over Cambodian champions Boeung Ket Rubber Field in a tension-packed winner-takes-all 2013 AFC President’s Cup Group C tie at Olympic Stadium on Friday.

The winning goal, which came in the dying minutes of the game, gave the visitors a deserving qualifying ticket, along with group toppers Balkan from Turkmenistan, to the final phase fixed for September 23-29 at a venue yet to be decided.

Going into this crucial game in a must-win situation, Boeung Ket played their hearts out until Gharquod broke them by delivering his third goal in three matches, perhaps the most remarkable strike of his whole career.

With Balkan winding up their three-match campaign by blasting Sri Lanka Army Sports Club 5-0, Al-Quds and Boeung Ket were locked in a titanic struggle for survival.

A game full of thrust and parry was heading inexorably to a goalless conclusion, a prospect that was warmly welcome in the Palestine camp, when 25-year-old Gharquod stumbled upon an opening to calm the nerves in his own dug out and more or less silence the crowd that had been heartily rooting for the local side.

A visibly disappointed Prak Vuthy put it all down to an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the only goal of the game. “We battled as hard as we could. We had our share of chances but they managed to convert that crucial one,” the coach said in his post-match analysis.

The Metfone C-League champions decidedly enjoyed a bigger chunk of space and possession during the first half, though Al-Quds showed greater gumption in the second and were almost fighting on level terms.

Boeung Ket’s focus will now shift to the month end’s Singapore Cup, and this three-match experience, coach Prak Vuthy feels, will stand the team in good stead.

It was a frustrating end to the Sri Lankans visit to Phnom Penh. Balkan fired five goals past the Army men, who return home with a miserable 0-21 scoring record, having lost 6-0 to Boeung Ket and 10-0 to Al-Quds earlier in the week.

Balkan head coach Rahim Kurbanmamedov rested most of his regulars and brought in five of those who were on the bench against Boeung Ket to start. Gahryman Chonkayez opened the scoring two minutes into the game.

Skipper Vladimir Barymov doubled Balkan’s lead 10 minutes later for a first half cushion of 2-0.

Rahmet Shermetov and Batyr Atamammedov struck a goal each before Lakshitha Jayathunga’s 79th minute own goal brought a dreadful end to Sri Lankans campaign.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group