Monday, April 5, 2010

A lightweight thrashing

Hong Ratana took the opportunity of a rare start to net himself a hat-trick
Let me begin yesterday's round-up of the Metfone C-League with Phnom Penh Crown's thrashing of Chhma Khmao. It was so one-sided that 9-0 doesn't really do Crown justice for their dominance. For Crown fans they'll love that type of game. For genuine football fans, such lopsided games don't get the juices flowing and for the C-League, well, its a continuation of the domination by teams like Crown, who can afford the best squad of players, whilst the provincial minnows from Svay Rieng, rely on homegrown talent and will find it tough going this season. Crown fielded a lot of their fringe squad players in the game, which was a good opportunity for them to see game-time and with his hat-trick, Hong Ratana got himself a few brownie points. On the other hand, The Prince Justine spent most of the time shaking his head and stamping his feet after missing chance after chance. He was simply trying too hard. The pressure is on him now as last season's top scorer, he's with a new club and expectations are very high. A tenseness in front of goal, taking that extra touch just to make sure, are a striker's nightmare and The Prince needs to get back into playing with the carefree abandon of last season. When it clicks into place, watch out. He did eventually find his goalscoring boots yesterday, netting a hat-trick in the last twenty minutes, but he knows he could've scored a lot more. Crown led 3-nil at the break with Friday Nwakuna, Hong Makara (Ratana's brother) and Chan Chhaya on target. Nwakuna's was a tap-in, Makara's a 20 yard grubber and the ball hit Chhaya on the side of his head after Nwakuna whacked over a bye-line cross. He couldn't get out of the way.
After the half-time oranges, it was the Hong Ratana and Prince Justine show. Ratana got his trio of goals first, with a lovely diving header and two cool finishes. Very well-taken goals. With a series of near misses in his wake, The Prince got his first with a low drive into the far corner, his second was a thunderous, and I mean unstoppable, drive that nearly took the goalkeeper's arm off. His third, in injury time, was a visible relief for the striker who sets himself high standards and will be working hard on improving his finishing. Crown have now won their opening two games, 8-1 and 9-0 and meet the other newboys Prek Pra Keila in their next match. I recommend you bring a calculator with you.
An unfamiliar line-up for Phnom Penh Crown but it made no difference as they went onto win 9-0
The Black Cats of Chhma Khmao play in a blue kit! Someone told me its the name of a beer.
Prince Justine on another of his solo runs on goal. Pic: nicksellsphotography

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