Saturday, February 5, 2011

Crown too strong

The Crown starting line-up; [back row, LtoR] Njoku, Dara, Visokra, Narong, Obadin, Sothearith [front row] Vanthan, Sophat, Chaya, Rathanak, Ratana.
Phnom Penh Crown welcomed Prek Pra Keila and their supporters to Crown's training ground at Tuol Kork for a friendly on Saturday afternoon, with both clubs twiddling their thumbs until the Hun Sen Cup quarter-finals later in the month. Crown were without 6 of their regular line-up as they were with the national team ahead of their game against Macau on Wednesday so the friendly gave an opportunity to players usually warming the bench as well as the club's two Nigerian imports who aren't allowed to play in the cup. They also had a look at two players from Stung Treng as well as the Stung Treng coach, and former Crown player, Hok Sochivorn. Prek Pra are also through to the last eight of the cup competition, so they were eager for action too. It took Crown just six minutes to open the scoring when Hong Ratana arrowed his volleyed effort from Phoung Narong's center low and into the corner of the net. Hong Visokra came out and smothered Mat Hasan and Prek Pra's single effort of the half. After the break, Crown used the opposition goal for shooting practice but were off-target with the majority of their efforts. Those on target were Sok Sovan who poked a shot against the upright, Kingsley Njoku warmed the fingers of the Prek Pra keeper with two stinging efforts that were very well-saved, and Hok Sochivorn rose above everyone else to head against the cross-bar from Suong Viorak's cross. Njoku was on target four minutes from time when he latched onto a Chea Virath pass and despite appeals for offside, he dummied the keeper and poked the ball over the line from a yard out for 2-nil and game over. Prek Pra had already gone down to ten men when Philip Ali was dismissed for two bookable offences and Mat Hasan also saw red for showing dissent on two occasions, in time added on. Injuries to Narong and Odion Obadin late in the game may give coach Bojan Hodak some cause for concern.
Crown line-up: Visokra (Bunna 90), Dara, Vanthan (Pheng Dara 62), Sothearith, Obadin, Narong (Sovan 45), Sophat (Kim Sophanal 62), Rathanak (Hok Sochivorn 62), Ratana (Virath 75), Chaya (Virak 45), Njoku.
Kingsley Njoku, in acres of space, just before he scored Crown's 2nd goal
Three trialists from the Stung Treng Police team, LtoR, Kim Sophanal, Hok Sochivorn, Pheng Dara
The Prek Pra Keila team, including two subs, or maybe they started with 13 players
Pre-match warm-up for the Crown squad
Coach Bojan Hodak addresses his players after the final whistle

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