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HSC 2020: Last year’s finalists eliminated

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Boeung Ket FC, which won the Hun Sen Cup title last year, failed to advance past the quarter-finals this time after a tough loss to Visakha FC. KT/Yeun Punleau

The two teams that battled it out for the championship in the 2019 Hun Sen Cup are already out of the running for the title in this year’s edition of Cambodia’s premier knockout tournament.

Boeung Ket football club beat Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC in a penalty shootout thriller to bring home the championship trophy last year.

But this season, Boeung Ket FC and PKR Svay Rieng FC were eliminated early, with both teams not making it out of the quarter-finals.

PKR Svay Rieng FC was the first to fall, losing to NagaWorld FC by an aggregate score of 4-3. PKR Svay Rieng FC was one of the favourites to win the title this year, but an unexpected 2-1 loss to NagaWorld FC in their leg two quarter-finals match on Wednesday doomed its chances.

Visakha FC came through with another shocker a day later by eliminating Boeung Ket FC in their own quarter-finals duel.

The two teams fought to a 2-2 draw during their first leg quarter-finals match in August, setting up a winner-take-all leg two match on Thursday.

Initially, it appeared that the defending champions will easily pull it off after Visakha FC defender Ouk Sovann accidentally put the ball in his own goal barely five minutes into the match.

The first half ended with Boeung Ket FC clinging to 1-0 advantage.

Visakha FC forward Reung Bunheing tied the score, 1-1, with his goal in the 47th minute. But three minutes later, Boeung Ket FC regained the lead, 2-1, on a Mat Noron goal.

Visakha FC midfielder In Sodavid scored in the 55th minute to tie the score once more.

Striker Mon Vannda’s successful conversion in the 71st minute gave the lead back to Boeung Ket FC.

With time winding down, it appeared that Boeung Ket FC will ran away with the win. But Ouk atoned for his earlier mistake by scoring a goal in the 80th minute to tie the score.

The two teams were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. Tournament rules stipulate that, in case of a tie in the aggregate score after two matches, a penalty shootout would be staged to determine which team will advance to the next round.

Visakha FC came out on top (4-3) in the ensuing penalty shootout to end Boeung Ket FC’s hopes of a repeat title.

“Sorry we can’t reach the next round. Thank you for your support. We need to go back and focus more on training to get ready for the next season,” Boeung Ket FC posted on its Facebook page.

Tiffy Army FC, which won the Hun Sen Cup title two years ago, also got the boot after losing to Prey Veng FC in their own quarter-finals matchup. Tiffy Army FC won the first leg match, 1-0. But Prey Veng FC won the next match, 4-3, to set up another penalty shootout.

Prey Veng FC won the penalty shootout, 5-4, to eliminate Tiffy Army FC and advance to the semis.

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