Sunday, April 10, 2011
Crown flatten Rithysen
Preah Khan Reach were held at 1-1 by surprise package Chhlam Samuth in Sunday's opening Metfone C-League game. There was little to choose between the sides in the 1st half before Khuon Laboravy brought the game to life with a brilliantly-crafted solo effort on 55 minutes, when he weaved his way past four defenders and slipped his shot past Sam Chamroeun from ten yards. It was the stuff you normally see from the likes of Barcelona's Leo Messi, it was that good. PKR then sat back and allowed newcomers Chhlam Samuth, poked and prodded by the evergreen Pov Samnang, to get a foothold in the game. They didn't let-up and netted the equaliser on 71 minutes. A poorly cleared corner fell to Samnang and his low drive was deflected goalwards by substitute Maxwell Woko before spinning off the heel of PKR's Sok Rithy and wrong-footing keeper Sar Sophea in goal. That's how it stayed as one of the league's favourites were held to their 2nd draw in two games.
Phnom Penh Crown were in no mood to allow one of the new teams, Rithysen from Kompong Chhnang, an easy ride in their 2nd game of the C-League season. After 34 minutes of the 1st half, Crown led 6-0 after literally tearing the opposition defence into tatters. Urged by their head coach to start strongly, the Crown players followed his word to the letter with Kingsley Njoku netting a hat-trick in the space of eight minutes. Kouch Sokumpheak was the first to hit the target, in the 10th minute after Njoku had fluffed a guilt-edged opportunity by hitting the post from three yards out. Sun Sopanha rifled in a second a minute later before Njoku scored his first in the 18th minute. Two minutes later he battled with two defenders, and won, before rounding the keeper to walk the ball over the line. Another four minutes and he was on hand to turn in Sopanha's inviting pass. Sadly for the crowd the Nigerian striker failed to celebrate his goals with the acrobatic somersault that we saw in week 1. Suong Virak arrowed a free-kick past replacement keeper Oum Veasna on 34 minutes to complete the first-half scoring spree. After the break, Crown began in the same fashion with another goal from Virak after four minutes, but they then went through a spell where they missed more than a dozen chances, the chief culprit being Sokumpheak. A combination of poor finishing and the fine form of Oum Veasna was frustrating teh Crown attack until sub Sok Pheng rifled in a stunning 20 yard effort on 83 minutes and Hong Ratana sidefooted from close range in the 1st minute of time added on. 9-0 was the final result and Crown go into a three week hiatus with their first win of the new campaign. Their coach Bojan Hodak says the rest will do them a power of good. "We need the break from playing and training, most of our players, especially from the national team have been training for five months without a rest, so the break will freshen them up."