Monday, June 21, 2010

Relegation blues

Besides the football it was the storm clouds above Olympic Stadium that took centre stage
The two teams that kicked off the weekend action at Olympic Stadium may be at the wrong end of the Metfone C-League table but that didn't stop them from putting on an entertaining display on Saturday. Honours were even at the end, with Prek Pra and Wat Phnom settling for a 2-2 draw but the actions of referee Khuon Virak had the crowd venting their anger long after the final whistle. The match began in driving rain and a strong wind in Prek Pra's favour. It was a comedy of errors in the first 20 minutes as both teams struggled with the conditions. A slip by the Wat Phnom keeper gave Prek Pra the opener when he slid out, fumbled the ball and gave Mat Hasan a tap-in. However they lost Put Sotheara to a red card after just 6 minutes of the 2nd half as referee Virak began to make his mark on the match. That gave Wat Phnom the edge and two goals in five minutes put them ahead, through Phlong Chanthou and Ry Pheareun. The referee then evened the numbers by dismissing Wat Phnom’s combative Peter Ejike for what he saw as a dive. And Prek Pra took the initiative to equalize through Philip Ali 9 minutes from the end. The goalscorer was then dismissed in the third minute of additional time when the linesman spotted something, snitched to the referee and Khuon Virak flashed his third red card of the afternoon. That sent the Prek Pra players, coaching team and fans into uproar, venting their spleen at the match officials.
Prek Pra Keila line up before the 1st game Saturday
Wat Phnom before the kick-off
Prek Pra coach Yep Phirum vents his anger at the match officials in the post-match press interview, alongside Mat Hasan (11)

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