Cambodia - Temples, Books, Films and ruminations...by Andy Brouwer
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The victorious Rithisen squad line up after their giant-killing success over Kirivong
This weekend saw the final matches of the Hun Sen Cup last 16 and Saturday at Olympic Stadium saw the first real cup upset with underdogs Rithisen, from Kompong Chhnang, pulling off a 4-2 win over a demoralized Kirivong side, who had only themselves to blame though debutant referee Yien Kivatanak had a big say in the result too. The match attracted a crowd of 6,000 as well as the sweltering heat, a 2pm kick-off is really tough on the two sides. It wasn't a physical encounter but the referee felt it necessary to book 9 players, send off 4 from Kirivong and also brandish the red card to two others, but changed his mind and let them stay on the field. An incredible performance from the man in the middle. Long gone are the days when the referee was anonymous. Kirivong twice led, through Hok Sochivorn's thunderous free kick and a Phan Vanda penalty. Rithisen scored through skipper Ouk Channarith and then in time added on, netted the equalizer via Keo Chandara to take the game into extra time. By this time, Kirivong were down to 9 men with Hang Chantrea and Sochivorn getting red cards. Rithisen made their advantage tell in extra time with goals from Pes Matsoum and Chandara's second. Kirivong continued to implode and lost Ek Vannak and Yem Botra to early baths as Rithisen celebrated a memorable cup upset.
Meeting Rithisen in the quarter-finals will be Ministry of National Defense. Despite a really plucky and gutsy performance from Koh Kong, which saw the game goalless for 90 minutes and another 30 minutes extra time, with little in the way of goalmouth action, it was MND who progressed. With the game going into penalty kicks, MND won 4-3 thanks to successful penalties from Nov Soseila, Thong Oudom, Khek Khemarin and goalkeeper Samreth Seiha, who saved two spot-kicks before firing in his penalty and sending his teammates into raptures. Koh Kong's scorers were Ung Sopheak, Chhin Meng Srieng and Leng Makra.
2 goal Rithisen hero Keo Chandara (19) with Tam Yusos (16)
The self-imploding Kirivong team finished with 7 players on the pitch
Rithisen line up before their cup tie against Kirivong
The Ministry of Defense line up to face plucky Koh Kong, whom they beat on penalties