Naga Corp’s newly appointed head coach Lim Noun could not have hoped for a brighter start than his side’s 10-0 thumping of visitors Kratie yesterday in the opening Group A tie of the seventh Samdech Hun Sen Cup at Olympic Stadium.
Even more cheering for the coach was the performance of his leading striker, Choun Chum, who hammered home seven of those goals in Naga’s runaway win against a side that was totally out of
Teab Vathanak and Prak Chanratana squeezed in a goal each, and Kratie’s cup of misery was overflowing when their own defender Lam Sokhara conceded an own-goal to round off the tally for the winners.
A late change to the fixture list by the Football Federation of Cambodia produced a scrappy Group B encounter in the evening kick-off slot at Olympic Stadium. Last year’s Metfone C-League demotees Western University held their own for the first 40 minutes against fellow college-backed club Build Bright United before falling apart.
BBU took control of the match five minutes before half-time, firing two quick goals, and went on to consolidate the lead in the second session for a 3-0 wrap-up.
A firm left-footer from the edge of the box by Chhun Sothearoth off a gentle prod from Prom Puthsethy put BBU in front. Within minutes Puthsethy had doubled the lead with a solo run right into the heart of the opposition defence.
Even as Western were ruing a couple of open chances they had squandered, there came another blow from BBU, this time Plong Chanthou getting away with a free ride to the end zone.
The teams formed a circle in the middle of the pitch and observed a minute’s silence before the start of the match in honour of the memory of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.
Old Stadium battles
In the Group B games over at Old Stadium, National Police Commissary routed Kampot 6-0, while Ministry of National Defence entertained their home fans with a 3-0 victory over Khan Chamkamon.
The Police’s prolific striker Nuth Sinuon netted a hat-trick and Nov Soseila bagged a brace. Ngorn Borey hit another past the bewildered Kampot, who rarely got the ball out of their own half. Police were guilty of spurning several gilt-edged chances and could have easily got into double digits.
The second match saw the Army team march over Phnom Penh qualifiers Khan Chamkamon. In front of a hundred uniformed members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, MND’s Op Kamol opened the scoring after 21 minutes.
Chamkamon fought well to keep themselves in it, even after Ry Phirun was dismissed with a second yellow for diving in the Army penalty area.
It remained a one-goal game well into the second half, in no part due to the heroics of Chamkamon keeper Kha Theara, who saved a penalty on 65 minutes.
Chhin Chhoeun finally gave the Army some breathing space on 77 minutes, with Phoung Soksana hammering home the final nail in the coffin in the dying moments.
V-League side visits
Olympic Stadium will host a pair of friendly matches this weekend featuring Saigon FC. The current Vietnamese Cup holders will meet their Cambodian counterparts Preah Khan Reach at 3pm today before playing Naga Corp at the same time on Sunday.