Sunday, June 13, 2010
All keepers are mad
C-League. A poor internet connection at my home is my excuse. Accompanied by their noisy and sometimes obnoxious youthful support, Prek Pra gave Naga a run for their money in the afternoon's first game, but Naga always had enough to win the points, with a 2-1 win. Teab Vathanak netted another two goals for Naga, one in each half and joins Julius Chukwumeka at the top of the goalscorers chart with 11 goals. We had another Mak Theara incident in the game. He's the Naga goalkeeper with a kamikaze deathwish, who has a habit of overstepping the line when collecting the ball in the face of onrushing opposition forwards. His overhead scorpion kicks are definitely the worst but today he caught a ball and then followed through with a straight leg into the chest of Prek Pra's Dennis Nwaizu. The match referee did nothing and let him get away with it. So he will do it again I'm sure. But that was nothing compared to the keeper in the second game today. Khemara gave a debut today to Hong Visokra between the sticks. To be honest he was crap but he suffered a chin injury after 20 minutes that required 4 stitches, and though his catching was abysmal throughout the game, he survived and so did his team, winning 3-2 against the Ministry of National Defense. The facial injury may've given him a need for self-protection but just a few minutes after the half-time break he caught the ball and fly-hacked/karate-kicked Army striker Suong Virak in full view of the referee, who waved play on. I was gob-smacked. The incident deserved a red card and a penalty kick. It got neither. In fact I was the only person in the ground screaming at the referee. And I'm supposed to be neutral. Referees in the C-League have gone too far in protecting goalkeepers. If a striker goes anywhere near a keeper they blow for a foul immediately but as we saw today, if the keeper takes offensive action against the striker, that's allowed and positively encouraged. The referees and their assessors in the C-League are failing miserably in their job. As for the result, it was a big boost for Khemara who had a piss poor 1st half of the season, whilst Army are a shadow of the team that won the Hun Sen Cup and 5 straight league games at the start of the campaign. In-depth match reports to come later.