Monday, May 30, 2011


BBU left it late to net the winner in their 2-1 success over Army
The 2nd game yesterday saw the Army with a chance to leapfrog over Phnom Penh Crown into top spot in the Metfone C-League, if they could dent the ambitions of the students of BBU. As it turned out, they couldn't and they didn't. And surprisingly, it was goalkeeper Sou Yaty, who I rate as the best of the homegrown stoppers and who should be in the national team squad, who will hold his hand up to shoulder most of the blame for the Army's failure. The normally reliable number 1 was at fault for both of BBU's goals, the last coming in time added on at the end of the game. BBU ran out 2-1 winners when Nhim Sovannara let fly with a 30-yard hit and hope which Yaty saw all the way but slipped as he went to catch it and fumbled the ball over his head and across the goal-line. If the earth would've swallowed him at that moment, he would've gladly accepted his fate. His first howler came in the 7th minute when he came out to challenge Oum Chandara, the ball rebounded off his body on the slippery pitch, straight to Pech Sina, who simply tapped the ball into the empty net. In all honesty the game should not have continued after half-time. The rain was torrential up until that point, the pitch covered in surface water and any resemblance to the game of football as we love it was impossible. Referee Khuon Virak was having none of it. He waited half an hour, with most of the crowd having already departed believing the game had been postponed, including the local media reporters. Even though the pitch was still covered in rainwater, he allowed the second half to begin and we watched as both teams slid and hacked their way through the next 45 minutes without any possibility of seeing anything other than kick and rush, stop and slosh. It was ridiculous and an afront to football. Virak and the match commissioner should be censored for allowing the game to continue. It was not in the best interests of football in the slightest and if I was on the end of this defeat, I would make a vociferous appeal to the football federation. Of course, they would turn a blind eye to any appeal, but someone has to challenge inept decisions such as we saw yesterday. The referee in the first match was bad enough but for Virak to even consider continuing the game yesterday was a very bad joke. The Army equaliser arrived five minutes after the half-time break. BBU keeper Hem Simay was adjudged to have caught Keo Vannak, though the striker certainly used the conditions to convince the referee and Thong Udom made no mistake from the penalty spot. In addition, Virak gave no allowance for the conditions and flashed no less than 7 yellow cards, which will come back to haunt both sides in future matches. The only plus point is that it gives me something to get my teeth into and something for the crowd to enjoy; the lowest common denominator is loved by Cambodian football supporters and watching players make an ass of themselves on a waterlogged pitch is high on their list.
The Army lost the chance to go top, losing 2-1 to BBU in the rain-sodden Olympic Stadium debacle

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