Saturday, July 23, 2011

Crown rattle up five

Odion Obadin scored his 1st goal of the season against Chhlam Samuth
Let's just say that Phnom Penh Crown's 5-3 win over Chhlam Samuth wasn't exactly a vintage Crown display and at one stage with the Sea Sharks leading 3-2, a worried frown crossed my brow. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long before Crown levelled and then went onto win the game and remain on the top of the Metfone C-League pile for another week. But credit to third from bottom Chhlam Samuth, they made a real fist of it and their three Nigerian players give them a definite advantage over the other teams at the wrong end of the table. Crown coach David Booth was not a happy man after the game; "We couldn't do anything right today, but sometimes the result is more important than the performance, and today was one of those days." The coach changed his team's formation, playing with two central strikers fifteen minutes into the 2nd half and despite Chhlam Samuth taking the lead, the move eventually worked with Crown recovering their momentum and both strikers getting their names on the scoresheet. The match had begun pretty much to plan with Crown taking the lead on 20 minutes as Sun Sopanha floated a cross to the far post where Odion Obadin rose above his marker to head powerfully home, for his 1st goal of the season. Tieng Tiny made a timely tackle on Dauda Sanni as the opposition wingman was just about to pull the trigger before Sun Sopanha gave Crown a two-goal lead on 36 minutes. A quick corner played to Thul Sothearith was returned to Sopanha and from 25 yards out he unleashed a stunning drive that gave Pich Rovinyothin in the Sea Sharks goal, absolutely no chance. Just three minutes later and Chhlam Samuth's Sunday Ayodele caught Peng Bunchhay in the Crown goal napping with an unexpected swinger from the left that eluded the stopper and sailed into the net. In time added on, Sanni's inswinging corner struck the bar and San Thydeth lent back and blasted the loose ball over the bar to leave Crown 2-1 ahead at the interval.

On 63 minutes, Chhlam Samuth grabbed an equalizer when Pov Samnang's retrieving header at the far post caused some panic in the Crown defence and Sanni drove the ball through a forest of legs to make it 2-2. A Kingsley Njoku header cleared the far post by an inch whilst at the other end Bunchhay was alert to cut out the danger when Olabode Abosede squirmed his way between two defenders. It was a warning, as on 73 minutes, Tiny failed to clear his lines, Sunday Ayodele sped to the bye-line and Abosede headed his pull-back powerfully into the roof of the net. Chhlam Samuth had taken a 3-2 lead against the league leaders. Tiny nearly made amends from a free-kick awarded for a back-pass but his fierce strike was diverted over the bar by Ayodele. Obadin also saw a header skip past the upright before Chan Chaya popped up to make it 3-3 on 78 minutes. Hong Ratana crossed from the left, Njoku failed to control but the ball fell kindly to Chaya who poked it in from close range. Less than two minutes later and Crown were back in front. Njoku skated past two players on the left wing and his lofted cross allowed Sok Pheng to pick his spot inside the far post with a firm header. Njoku's well struck shot was pushed aside by Rovinyothin before the Nigerian hitman went on a solo run that bamboozled the Sea Sharks backline. Forty yards from goal, he turned and ran at three players before rounding the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into the net for Crown's fifth and final goal of a pulsating match. Crown retain their leadership and the crowd went home thoroughly entertained.
Crown line-up: Bunchhay, Narith, Sothearith, Tiny, Obadin, Sopanha, Ota (Njoku 59), Chaya, Virak (Ratana 45), Sokumpheak, S Pheng. Subs not used: Visokra, Dara, Vanthan, Sovan, Sovannrithy, Narong, Sochivorn, Sophat, H Pheng. Bookings: S Pheng, Bunchhay.
Crown line-up: Back Row LtoR: Tiny, Obadin, Sopanha, Narith, Sothearith, Bunchhay. Front Row: S Pheng, Ota, Virak, Chaya, Sokumpheak.A final 'all for one' before the game begins
Sok Pheng (19) scored for the 2nd consecutive match
The Crown players escape the fury above them before the game starts
Chhlam Samuth battled bravely before going down 5-3 to Crown

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