Sunday, May 16, 2010

On a plate for Prek Pra

A penalty from Sot Sa Aun effectively sealed Prek Pra's 1st win of the season
I don't like it when referee's decisions, bad ones in my view, have a dramatic outcome on matches, as Yien Kivatanak's did yesterday, during the game between the two Keila's, Prek Pra and Khemara. I don't want to diminish Prek Pra's first win in 7 games, their first Metfone C-League points and their joyous celebrations, but Kivanatak literally handed them their win on a plate. To be honest, this particular referee has had a tough baptism into officiating in the middle. He sent off 4 players in his first game and has a knack of flashing cards of various colours in each game he's in charge. Yesterday it was just five yellows and one red, which is far fewer than normal, but some crucial decisions he made impacted on Khemara, who are down in the dumps anyway and this just added to their woes. Just before the hour mark he deemed a well-timed tackle from Ouk Chheng Hort as a foul and Prek Pra gratefully accepted his gift of the penalty kick to open up a two-goal lead. Within a minute, he added insult to injury for Khemara, when he couldn't wait to flash a straight red card at sub Chhun Kirivatharo for what looked to everyone like a 50-50 challenge with Nigerian full-back Christopher Kingstone. The latter's yelp and rolling around didn't help but I thought it was a poor decision and Kirivatharo confirmed afterwards that his reluctance to leave the field was because he won the ball and the Kingstone clattered into him. With their best bet for a goal or two, Kuoch Sokumpheak, already limping from a 1st-half heel injury, there was no way back for Khemara and Prek Pra scored again to give them a massive lift in this their first season in the C-League. Their joy was unrestrained and their noisy young fans loved every minute of it. And rightfully so, especially after suffering such a tragedy last weekend when their striker Wilson Mene died of a heart attack on the same pitch. Prek Pra's goals came from Sos Souhana, that Sot Sa Aun penalty and You Arafat, four minutes from the end.
Sos Souhana opened the scoring for Prek Pra with the last kick of the 1st half
You Arafat talks about his late goal and his team's 1st win in 7 matches
For Khemara Keila this season is going from bad to worse
Prek Pra will be cock-a-hoop after securing their first win of the campaign
The teams observe a moments silence for Prek Pra's Wilson Mene, who died last week

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