Sunday, May 8, 2011

Just a trickle of goals

The Army topped the Police 1-0 to move into 2nd place in the table
Today's Metfone C-League action was missing the usual glut of goals though the Army won't worry about that, as their 1-0 win over the National Police Commissary gave them three points to take them into 2nd spot behind leaders Phnom Penh Crown. In the 2nd match of another scorcher of an afternoon, heat-wise, Preah Khan Reach came up against a revitalised Naga Corp and came off second best. Naga took the honours with a 2-1 success with their new signing Julius Oiboh again tormenting the opposition and suggesting that with him in the team, Naga may just again mount a challenge. Early days of course but Oiboh has already shown enough that he could make the sort of impact that Prince Justine did over the last couple of seasons.
A Police v Army match would normally conjure up blood and guts and more besides, but the high temperatures only came from the overhead sun and the more sedate action on the pitch belied the animosity between the two teams. With the teams captained by two Udoms, who were also up against each other on the pitch, it was the Army's Thong Udom who came out on top. His team won and the normally effective Sophal Udom for Police, had an anonymous game. The Army winner came on 22 minutes. Ke Vannak's cross to the far post was met by the head of Phoung Soksana and it sailed into the far corner to send the Army bench into raptures. It was the only action of note in the sun-drenched 1st half and the 2nd period was only marginally better. Phlong Chanthou had the Army's best chance but stubbed his shot wide and keeper Sou Yaty was in the right place at the right time to keep out two Police attempts ten minutes from time. If the watching national coach doesn't pick him for the upcoming World Cup matches, then he must need new glasses. 1-0 to the Army, who go into second spot.
The Police who went down with little more than a whimper against the Army
National Police (blue) take on the Army (red) at the Olympic Stadium. The Military Police stand guard.
The 2nd match of the afternoon was the mouth-watering clash between two of the big guns. Whilst the game sparked occasionally, it never really burst into life and Naga were always marginally on top, though Preah Khan's passing game almost got them back into it in the 2nd half. The first half belonged to Naga. And In Julius Oiboh they have the C-League's most exciting arrival of the new season. Tall and powerful, expectation rises whenever he gets the ball and with a neat quickness of feet to boot, its easy to see why. PKR found it hard to keep him quiet in the 1st half and five minutes before the half-time break, he was quick to move onto Chin Chom's quick pass, left Suon Thuon in his wake and finished with neat flourish for the game's opening goal. In an identical move, 3 minutes later, he found Ouk Mic's feet in the way and Naga went in a goal to the good at the break. PKR began to impose their passing game after the interval but Naga still created the best chances with Oiboh heading wide of an open goal before substitute Prak Chanratana was on hand to turn in Omogba Esoh's bye-line pull-back nine minutes from the end. Esoh's influence on the game overshadowed his Nigerian compatriot after the break, but together they gave Naga something that PKR didn't have. The otherwise quiet Khuon Laboravy came alive five minutes from time when he lashed a shot against the cross-bar, which fell invitingly for Tum Saray to crash home but it was too little too late for PKR and Naga justly claimed the points.
Now I see why Preah Khan lost - they have no goalkeeper! He was off tossing a coin and missed the team photo.
Naga came good with the help of their Nigerian imports (back row, left) to beat Preah Khan
A photo to please my pal Eric. He loves his clouds above the stadium shots.

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