Phnom Penh Crown beat Build Bright United 3-1 at Crown's Tuol Kork training ground, to record their 3rd win in as many games. Ratana scored twice and looked dangerous whenever he got the ball, playing on the right side of midfield rather than the left where he played most of last season. With 7 players on national team duty and unavailable, the match gave coach Bojan Hodak the opportunity to see his squad players in action. And that action came thick and fast with skipper Thul Sothearith giving Crown a 4th minute lead, when he coolly rolled his penalty into the corner after Chan Chaya theatrically fell over a challenge by BBU keeper Sos Proshim. On 13 minutes Suong Virak broke clear on the left wing and his lofted cross was expertly volleyed in by Hong Ratana as Proshim left his goal-line.
The BBU goalkeeper was kept on his toes with Kingsley Njoku and Ratana testing his reactions before BBU showed their mettle, twice hitting the woodwork through Chan Veasna and Keo Chea. With the last kick of the first half, Hong Ratana grabbed his second and Crown's third goal with a nifty swivel of his hips and a neat finish after Chan Chaya had put him in.
Five minutes after the break, Chan Dara was carried off with a knee injury. Both goalkeepers had a quiet time of it until BBU netted a consolation headed goal with ten minutes left on the clock. Crown had given 17 year old keeper Nim Bunna a run out and his first touch was to retrieve the ball from his net. A flailing fingertip save by the youngster a few minutes later kept the final score at 3-1. Coach Hodak declared himself; "happy with our play for an hour but then our legs were heavy as we've been doing lots of physical work recently. I was pleased that most of the players got their first full 90 minutes under their belts."
PPCFC line-up: Visokra (Bunna 76), Dara (Obadin 57), Vanthan, Sovan, Sothearith, Sophat (Virath 45), Narong, Ratana (Rathanak 45), Virak, Chaya, Njoku.
Crown's national squad members arrived to watch the second half, ahead of their game tomorrow (Sunday) against Ulsan University from South Korea. Khim Borey was one of them, nursing an ankle injury picked up in the midweek national team game against Naga, when he fell awkwardly.