Monday, March 29, 2010

Naga win with comfort

Recently-installed Naga Corp coach Prak Sovannara declared himself "satisfied" with his team's first Metfone C-League win of the season. They always had too much for newcomers Prek Pra Keila and in left-footed midfield dynamo Joseph Oyewole, they had the weekend's best player on show. They also had new recruits, keeper Mak Theara - he of the dangerous scorpion kick fame - from Khemara and Kirivong's Samuel Oseika in the line-up. Up front they missed the punch of Sunday Okonkwo, who did so well for them last season. Instead Teab Vatanak lined up with Kob Isa and they'll need a stronger pairing if they want to recapture their league title this season. They led 3-0 at half-time against the new boys. Mat Phalla volleyed an own goal on 18 minutes and then Teab Vatanak scored a second, two minutes later. In truth he should've netted at least five goals before the interval but looks like a player devoid of confidence in front of goal, after a series of penalty disasters in the recent Hun Sen Cup. Sun Sovanrithy, wearing the skipper's armband this season instead of Om Thavrak, netted a penalty just before the break after Vatanak had fallen over with no-one near him and conned the referee. It was embarrassing.
With Naga in control, they increased their lead after the interval with a tap-in from Joseph Oyewole, who then headed against an upright. He dominated the game in midfield and will be a big player for Naga this season. We had some fun and games with ten minutes to go. Prek Pra keeper Yok Ary hurt his hand making a double save and swapped shirts with full-back Khin Voeun, as they'd already used their quota of substitutes. Five minutes later, Ary showed why he's a keeper and not a full-back with a clumsy challenge on Oyewole and Sun Sovanrithy despatched his 2nd spot-kick with ease. An easy day at the office for the league champions. Like their fellow newcomers Chhma Khmao the day before, it could be a long, hard season ahead for Prek Pra Keila.

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