PPCFC v National Police. Back Row LtoR: Dara, Ratana, Njoku, Obadin, Tiny, Bunchhay. Front Row: Ota, Narong, Sokumpheak, Chaya, Sothearith
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25 June 2011
PPCFC 2 National Police Commissary 0 (Metfone C-League)
Phnom Penh Crown went back to the top of the Metfone C-League table with this 2-0 victory over National Police at the Old Stadium, in the final match of the first-half of the C-League campaign. Without three players absent through suspension, it was Crown who dominated possession and created the better openings throughout the game. They restricted the Police to long-range shooting that never troubled Peng Bunchhay in the Crown goal. Before Crown took the lead Kingsley Njoku received a pass out wide from Thul Sothearith and blasted high and wide. In a near identical move on seven minutes, Sothearith fed Chan Chaya on the left flank, he burst between two players to feed Takahito Ota twenty yards out and the Japanese recruit picked his spot with a left-foot drive that nestled in the bottom corner. It was a special moment for the newcomer who has already impressed with his non-stop bustling style, neat passing and willingness to push forward. With Kouch Sokumpheak playing in a withdrawn role, Crown were seeing a lot of the ball and Chaya was slow to pull the trigger allowing Touch Pancharong time to get a block in. Just before the half-hour mark, Kingsley Njoku powered his way past three defenders and as he shaped to shoot, he was floored by a tackle from behind by Say Piseth. It was a nailed-on penalty for the world to see, except match referee Khuon Virak. Incredulously, he stood over Njoku and brandished a yellow card to the striker instead of awarding a penalty.
Two tackles by Police full-back Ieng Tin, seven minutes apart, saw him depart for an early bath on 36 minutes. First he clattered into the back of Njoku and then scythed down Taka giving referee Virak no alternative but to show him a 2nd yellow and a red card. It merely added to the uphill battle faced by the Police. Just before the half-time break, Taka's corner was met on the volley by Sokumpheak but he was inches wide of the far post with his effort. A minute into the 2nd half and Sokumpheak went on a run down the Police left and fizzed in a wicked cross that Njoku got a touch to but Police keeper Hin Sarith kept out at the near post. Hong Ratana, getting a rare start for Crown, leapt high at the far post to send a header across goal and just wide before stinging Sarith's hands with a low drive.
On 70 minutes, Crown got the second goal their pressing deserved. Chaya fed Njoku who held the ball up before returning it back to Chaya, and the busy striker buried his low drive into the far corner from the edge of the box. Game over. The last action of the match was an unsavory incident that has no place on a football pitch. With eleven minutes left on the clock, Police skipper Sophal Udom barged into the back of Odion Obadin and as the Crown defender led on the ground, he aimed a kick at his face but caught him in the chest, sparking a melee. Referee Virak quickly flashed a red card and Udom was hustled away and off the pitch. The incident left a bad taste in the mouth for everyone watching. With their 2-0 success, Crown return to the top of the Metfone C-League table, a point better off than 2nd-placed Naga Corp, as the competition enters a two-week mid-season break.
PPCFC line-up: Bunchhay, Dara, Sothearith, Tiny, Obadin, Narong (Sophat 61), Ota, Chaya (H Pheng 86), Ratana (S Pheng 76), Njoku, Sokumpheak. Subs not used: Visokra, Vanthan, Sovan, Virak, Sophanal, Rathanak, Sochivorn. Bookings: Narong, Njoku.
Next PPCFC Match: PPCFC v Rithysen at Olympic Stadium on Saturday 9 July at 4pm.