National Defence Ministry midfielder Keo Vannak skips over a challenge from a Chhma Khmao player during their last 16 match of the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup at Olympic Stadium on Saturday. The Army team beat the Black Cats 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Monday, 31 January 2011 15:00 H S Manjunath
Holders Ministry of National Defence booked their place in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup with a laboured 2-1 victory over Metfone C-League demotees Chmma Khmao at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
After a barren first half in which MND spurned several prominent chances, Phoung Soksana’s individual brilliance led to the Army’s opener four minutes into the second session.
Thong Udom doubled MND’s lead with a header in the 66th minute, before Ung Tara raised hopes of a fight back by the Black Cats when he lodged his freekick in the back of the net. However, the 76th-minute strike proved to be just a consolation as the reigning champions advanced to the last eight.
Police force out Stung Treng
Later on Saturday, Division A1 champions National Police Commissary were ruthlessly efficient against Military Police of Steung Treng, dealing the provincial side a 3-0 drubbing.
Ly Arifin’s goal, minutes before the interval, came after a string of near misses for the home side. Captain Sophal Odom then led by example with a second half brace to ensure a healthy scoreline.
Police coach Ung Kanyanith hailed former Khemara Keila playmaker Hou Sambo as his man-of-the-match. “Hou Sambo changed the game with his two assists,” said the coach.
Stung Treng coach Hok Sochivoan, meanwhile, was pleased by his team’s performance despite the result.
“I knew the Police are a strong side and boast a lot of experience,” he said. “But my players played well. Only our finishing let us down.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY UNG CHAMROEUN