Friday, July 29, 2011

Booth rings the changes

Phnom Penh Crown can put more daylight between them and the chasing pack at the top of the Metfone C-League tomorrow if results go according to plan. However, this is football afterall, so no one is counting their chickens. Crown will meet the in-form team of the moment, BBU, in the 2nd game of Saturday afternoon. BBU were the team who dumped Crown out of this year's Hun Sen Cup in a penalty shoot-out, though Crown did gain a measure of revenge in the league encounter, winning 3-0 in May. There will be changes in David Booth's line-up for the game against the students, after the coach opened up his reign with three straight wins. The forgotten man of the Crown squad, striker Sok Pheng, who Booth brought in from the cold and who repaid his faith with 3 goals in his last three games, picked up a second yellow card last week and will sit out this one with a 1-match suspension. Also missing is likely to be speedy wingman Suong Virak, who got a knock on his knee last week and will be rested as a precautionary measure. That opens the window of opportunity for others to stake their claim in the team for the final run-in towards capturing the C-League title, with just six games remaining and with Crown currently holding a four-point lead. Booth was hoping to add another face to his squad this week but that iron is still in the fire and he hopes to have more news on that front after the weekend. The coach wasn't best pleased with his team's defensive showing against Chhlam Samuth last Saturday when they conceded three goals despite working all week on keeping clean sheets, so the back four are under the microscope too. With BBU showing some good form in recent weeks, the game promises to be a cracker.

The AFC President's Cup final round draw is being made at 4pm this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur and Crown will soon know who they will face in one of the two 3-team groups. The leading team in each group then meet in the cup final. All matches will be played in Chinese Taipei between 19-25 September. Watch this space.

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