Naga Corp and National Defence Ministry beat a path through to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Samdech Hun Sen Cup as group- toppers with comprehensive victories yesterday, while Kirivong Sok Sen Chey and Chhlam Samuth also booked their places in the last eight with big wins.
2009 Cup runners-up Naga were in imperious form at Olympic Stadium, trouncing Battambang 10-0 including a magnificent seven from hitman Teab Vathanak.
A hat-trick in the first half and four more spread evenly across the second session was more than enough to overcome their West country rivals, although Chin Chum pitched in with his own effort to open the scoring on 17 minutes, and Soeung Monyroath sealed the rout late on.
Chin Chum could have added to his tally on numerous occasions, had he not been so eager to assist Vathanak’s quest for the golden boot.
In the late kick-off, Chhlam Samuth confirmed their progression to the knockout stage as Group A runners-up, thanks to a 5-0 thumping of Pailin.
The provincial club thus exit the tournament as the only team involved in the secondary group phase not to score a goal on Phnom Penh soil.
Meanwhile at the Old Stadium, National Defence Ministry took apart Kampot 4-0 to secure the summit of Group B. Chhin Chhoeun got the ball rolling on nine minutes, with the lead doubled just after the half-hour mark by Ung Dara.
Touch Sok Heng and Ieng Piseth also got in on the act in the closing stages to send Kampot packing.
Kirivong also dispatched their opposition with a 4-0 scoreline. Preah Vihear’s Asia Europe University were simply outclassed by the Takeo outfit, with Pich Seiha – who is of Vietnamese origin but has received Cambodian-national status – and Ek Sopheap both bagging braces.
Kirivong’s irrepressible attacker In Vichheka was pushed back to shore up the defence and gave an inspired performance that included many timely blocks.
In Wednesday’s quarter-finals, Naga will face Kirivong, while the Army team will come up against Chhlam Samuth. Both fixtures will be played at the Olympic Stadium.
On Saturday, Group C’s Preah Khan Reach and Build Bright United – in a rematch of last year’s final – could only muster a tame 1-1 draw at Old Stadium before Koh Kong smashed Stung Treng 3-0.
Over at the Olympic Stad-ium, reigning Metfone C-League champions Phnom Penh Crown stuttered to a 1-1 draw with National Police Commissary. In the Group D evening match, Boeung Kat Rubber Field inflicted another heavy defeat on provincial minnows Kratie with an impressive 17-1 scoreline.
The Kampong Cham side fed their former national team forward Keo Sokngorn all day, and he obliged with a thrilling 12-goal haul against his home town.
Kratie, who scraped into the last-16 group stage by the skin of their teeth, did their best with a complete absence of substitutes, as their only extra man had been suspended because of a red card in the previous Cup tie.
Friday’s games included a 2-2 stalemate for Naga against Chhlam Samuth as Battambang edged Pailin 1-0 at the Old Stadium.
2010 Cup champions Nat-ional Defence Ministry and Kirivong Sok Sen Chey provided yet another score draw from an all-Metfone C-League match-up with a 1-1 result at Olympic Stadium. Asia Europe University bounced back from their 5-0 hammering to register a 6-0 thrashing of Kampot.
Group C and D will find their quarterfinalists in games this afternoon, with top-tier teams all needing a draw to advance.
In an interesting twist to the campaign, Crown’s Khim Borey and Boeung Kat’s Sin Dalin were banned by the Football Federation of Cambodia on Saturday after a complaint lodged by their former club, National Defence Ministry.
The Army team argued that the duo, who currently play for Thai sides, were still listed on their books. The Federation duly obliged by Cup tying them for the second season in a row, despite both already featuring in opening Cup matches this year.
Playing at Olympic Stadium
- Stung Treng v Preah Khan Reach – 2pm
- Build Bright United v Koh Kong – 4pm
Playing at Old Stadium
- Boeung Kat Rubber Field v Phnom Penh Crown – 2pm
- National Police Commissary v Kratie – 4pm