A Pailin player (left) tries to pass an ISF player during their group B game yesterday.
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True to form and expectation, Bantaey Meanchey emerged from the group stage of the National Women’s Football Championship with a perfect win record that included a 4-0 thumping of lowly Prey Veng 4-0 at the University grounds yesterday morning.
The group A favourites tallied 12 points to finish top ahead of Siem Reap, who took nine points from their four group games.
In group B, Battambang predictably took the prime spot ahead of Stung Treng. The top two from each group now face off in criss-cross semifinals on Saturday, with Banteay Meanchey up against Stung Treng while Battambang take on Siem Reap. After a day of rest on Sunday, the grand finale has been fixed for 8:15am Monday morning, directly after the third place playoff which kicks off at 7am.
The hosts were up and running from the word go against Prey Veng yesterday, and within minutes sent a clear message that they meant business. An ominously impressive fourth minute goal by Da Chanthrea set the attacking trend, and she quickly drove home a second. Another splendid stint on the frontline by Kim Sopheak saw her get in the scorer's coloum, while Sim Malay polished off the rout.
In a contest that had no bearing on the semifinal matchups, Pursat defeated Kampong Thom 1-0, the winning goal coming off Chhun Sophorn's boot.
Phnom Penh side Indochina Starfish Foundation flattered to deceive, as their bold attempt to unsettle Pailin through Ren Channa’s strike nearly bore dividends. If not for Touch Khana's timely double, Pailin would have been in trouble, but instead turned on the heat at the crunch to emerge 2-1 winners.
A fighting draw brought the curtain down on the group phase. Stung Treng, pooling all their resources, were rewarded with an equaliser in stoppage time against Battambang, who had sneaked into the lead through Mao Sokhoeun.
Needing a draw to advance to the semifinals, Stung Treng’s Sokhoern Socheita was in the right place at the right time to knock home the dramatic equaliser in a last ditch effort and keep her side in the competition.
All finals games are played at Meanchey University ground
Saturday September 11
- Banteay Meanchey v Stung Treng – 7:30am
- Battambang v Siem Reap – 9:15am
Monday September 13
- Third place playoff – 7am
- Grand final – 8:15am