In a sensational twist to the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup, Build Bright United knocked out holders National Defence Ministry (MND) with a 2-1 victory in their semifinal yesterday. Chan Veasna produced a 30-yard screamer 10 minutes into the first spell of extra time to snatch the verdict in front of a captivated audience at Olympic Stadium.
The dramatic BBU win sets them up for a tilt at the title next Saturday at 3pm against Preah Khan Reach, who trounced Naga Corp 4-0 in the first semifinal on Saturday.
Both PKR coach Rith Dikar and BBU coach described the final showdown as an exciting match up which is guaranteed to find a first-time winner.
The teams yesterday played out a pulsating 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time. Oum Chandara’s curling free kick after a horrendous error by MND keeper Sou Yaty within minutes of the start gave the University backed side a dream opening.
After valiantly fighting for an equaliser, the Army outfit managed to restore parity when Phoung Soksana found the net following a skirmish in the box.
The script then went horribly wrong for MND when Veasna zeroed in on a stray pass to let fly with a first-timer that made an aerial survey of the Army defence before landing in the top corner of the net.
The man who levelled scores for MND had a chance to keep them in the hunt during the second spell of extra time, but Chandara’s deft shot with only keeper to beat went agonisingly wide by inches.
On the top of this mighty blow came Prak Rady’s dismissal a minute before the end of extra time for a reckless tackle on one of the BBU players.
The free kick that led to BBU’s first goal was the result of Sou Yaty being penalised for collecting the ball outside of box, although Army team management later contended that the keeper was well within the area.
The MND stopper did a splendid job during the match, breaking up several prominent BBU moves with timely interceptions.
At the other end, BBU goalie Sos Proshim kept an outstanding vigil, coming up with more than one top-drawer save and generally manning his territory with great assurance.
An ecstatic BBU coach Meas Sam Oeurn credited the victory to superb teamwork and his goalkeeper’s special efforts.
MND coach Op Sam An, meanwhile, said the team missed out on several open chances with the most glaring being the elusive equaliser during extra time. His side will now face Naga Corp in the third place playoff on Friday at 3pm.