Saturday, June 25, 2011
Form and composure
In just a few hours we will see the whether Phnom Penh Crown can recover their form and composure when they meet the National Police Commissary in the final match of the 1st round of the Metfone C-League campaign before the mid-season break and the World Cup qualifiers. With the 0-4 defeat against Naga last Monday still fresh in the memory, Crown must show their mettle against a Police team who are certainly no-pushovers. In Sophal Udom and Tith Dina they have players who can turn the game, so Crown will have to guard against that, as well as put in the extra effort, as a win will take Crown back to the top of the C-League table before the two-week break. Coming so soon off the back of their unsuccessful Singapore Cup exploits, the first-half performance against Naga will be one that Crown must not repeat, as it not only cost them the game but also the services of San Narith and Sun Sovannrithy, who miss the match today through suspension. Composure in the face of adversity is something Crown must learn and learn quickly after the team reacted to the actions of the referee in Monday's match. Today's game will start at 3pm on the Old Stadium surface that simply isn't good enough for professional football. Despite their assertions that no Crown or Police players would take part in Thursday's national team friendly against a minor Vietnamese team, the national coach gave game time to no less than seven players likely to play today, four of them with Crown. It was the last thing the players needed after such a hectic first half of the season and just 48 hours before this afternoon's match. In my view it was an irresponsible act by the national team coach. We will see today what impact that decision has on the players' performance. Crown will be without caretaker coach Bouy Dary for the game, as he's in Singapore with the club's Academy boys and the team will be under the charge of team manager Vann Piseth and goalkeeping coach Prak Vanny.