Sompong on song as Thais cruise past Cambodia (5 December 2009)

VIENTIANE – Sompong Soleb hit a hat-trick as reigning gold medallists Thailand cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Cambodia in their second 2009 SEA Games match on Friday.

Thailand made a stuttering start in their quest for a ninth consecutive SEA Games gold as Steve Darby’s side conceded a last minute penalty to draw 1-1 with Vietnam but found their rhythm against a Cambodian outfit – ironically coached by Scott O’Donell who got the 2003 S.League coach of the year award nod ahead of Darby when the two worked in Singapore – that was playing their first fixture of the campaign.

Sompong (pictured left) put the Thais one up 19 minutes into Friday’s match at the Cha Anu Vong Stadium before two goals in first-half stoppage-time all but securing the win.

Keerati Keawsombat made it two goals in as many games with the TOT striker following up his opener against Vietnam with Thailand’s second before Sompong, who plays for AFC Cup 2010 qualifiers Thai Port, added a third less than a minute later.

Sompong sealed his hat-trick with the final goal of the game four minutes into the second-half as the defending champions got back on track for a place in the semi-finals.