PPCFC v BBU. Back Row LtoR: Obadin, Njoku, Rady, Frimpong, H Pheng, Ary. Front: Tiny, Sovan, Suhana, Sokumpheak, Borey
Njoku is Back
21 April 2012
PPCFC 3 Build Bright 0 (Metfone C-League)
With Chan Chaya out with sickness, head coach David Booth gave Hong Pheng a start in his place with Kingsley Njoku returning to the starting line-up following the end of his eight-match AFC ban, at the expense of Melvin Tarley. Phnom Penh Crown began the game with purpose with Frimpong getting in a 25-yard range-finding shot which Proshim touched over the cross-bar in the third minute. Borey's neat touch gave Sokumpheak a sniff of goal on twelve minutes but Proshim was off his line quickly to deny the Crown skipper's attempted chip. Sos Suhana, who played for Cambodia's U-22s in midweek, fired over and had a mis-hit shot blocked, as well as putting in Sokumpheak, who turned and hit a low drive which Proshim again kept out at his near post on 22 minutes.
Frimpong struck the opening goal, which he arrowed into the corner giving Proshim no chance from all of thirty yards out, when Borey touched a free-kick to him and his trusty left foot did the rest. It was his fifth of the campaign. That was on 33 minutes and it was what Crown fully deserved. Suhana should've done better with a header from a Borey cross but his powder-puff nod down gave Proshim the opportunity to push it aside, whilst a minute into added on time, Hong Pheng raced clear of the last defender and looked to have chipped his shot neatly past Proshim, only for the ball to rebound to safety off the foot of the post.
The second half began in increasing gloom as the cloud and rain arrived and the floodlights were switched on. A quick break saw Njoku and Sok Pheng set up Borey at the far post but his clip past Proshim could only find the side netting. Sokumpheak whacked a 20-yarder into the keeper's midriff and then Proshim was out quickly to snuff out the danger when Njoku looked dangerous. At the other end, BBU were using the strong wind to their advantage and Yok Ary had to be quick to clear his lines when BBU broke the offside trap, and then tipped a 20-yard free kick from Chhun Sothearath over the top. Sok Pheng, on for Hong Pheng, got it wrong in his own area and his pass allowed Heng Sokly a shot which he blazed over. A minute later he was booked for shirt-pulling.
On 76 minutes, Kingsley Njoku calmed any Crown nerves with a fine solo goal, showing both speed and strength and a calm eye for goal, after running the BBU defence ragged, moving onto a Khim Borey pass and leaving two defenders in his wake as he zeroed in on goal. A minute later, Frimpong sent Sokumpheak clear, he rounded Proshim and kept his feet to fire his side into a three-goal lead. In the final dregs of the game, Sok Pheng whipped in a 20-yard drive which Proshim did well to fingertip wide and Sokumpheak blasted over after after leaving his marker for dead. It was a 3-0 win that Crown fully deserved and they now meet Kirivong next Sunday, in their final game before their AFC President's Cup adventures in early May.
Crown coach David Booth had this to say at the final whistle: "The field is awful, not conditions for good football, good passing or good control and with a bumpy pitch and the wind as well, it was difficult. We deserved to be in front, we had one or two chances, we hit the post, we had a few chances to go further in front, but it gave us something to fight for in the 2nd half....We changed it to four instead of three in the middle and tried to get the ball up front quicker, get it behind them and it worked. Both Kingsley and Sokumpheak got their goals....We've got to be a little patient but I think it will come eventually."
PPCFC line-up v BBU: Ary, Sovan, Rady, Tiny, Obadin (Dara 83), Frimpong, Borey (Sothy 76), Suhana, H Pheng (S Pheng 57), Njoku, Sokumpheak. Subs not used:Chamrouen, Vanthan, Seyha, Lika, Sophanal, Rathanak, Makara, Sovanna. Bookings:Obadin, S Pheng, Njoku.
David Booth speaks to his players before the match begins