Monday, September 26, 2011

Moments of madness

We worked so hard for this, only to fail at the final hurdle. Taipower celebrate their success.
It's an empty feeling, the morning after a cup final defeat. The 'what if's' are swirling around but for Phnom Penh Crown all the hard work that went into getting to the AFC President's cup final and nearly pulling off a great fightback, was undone by a few moments of madness. The consequences of those mindless moments will come back to haunt us I'm sure. We'll have to take that fallout on the chin, but it's painful to see how much hinges on one decision, or in this case, a non-decision by the match referee. To be frank he gave us nothing the whole game except the most obvious red card that even he couldn't shy away from. For a team that was in the running for the Fair Play award, we picked up five cautions in the game (as well as three red cards), whilst Taipower picked up none. The referee awarded them a penalty when everyone saw it was a dive, we were frustrated by free-kicks and decisions not going our way and then the last straw was the nailed-on penalty in time added on, that he simply waved away. Of course, he was a 'homer,' after our treatment in the last couple of days, we shouldn't have expected anything less, but when three of our most senior players lost their heads and started shoving the referee, that was when all of our hard work went down the drain. What should've been a great run in the competition, a proud and valiant attempt by a Cambodian club to make a major impact in an international club cup competition, and very nearly a great comeback in the final, went out of the window. Big-time. What happened after the final whistle was inexcusable from both teams and both clubs must face the music for that as well. I'm gutted, we are all gutted, but we let ourselves down by our actions in what should've been our finest hour.
Coach David Booth at the post-match press conference
The Crown squad collect their medals
The Crown squad wait to receive their medals at the closing ceremony
A very subdued Crown team after the match
Match action from last night. The bulk of the spectators are on the far side.
The Taiwan Power Company line-up
Thul Sothearith greets the AFC Vice-President Prince Abdullah Shah
The expectant Crown bench before the kick-off
The Crown players awaiting the VIP handshakes
Before the game kicks-off, its time for VIP introductions
The Crown starting line-up awaits pre-match formalities
Nervous moments in the tunnel before the game
Final words of encouragement from coach David Booth to his starting eleven
In the dressing rooms moments before the players leave
Tactical-talk from the Crown coaches
Players in their dressing-room cubicles
Head coach David Booth explaining how he wants his team to play
Ugly scenes at the final whistle, instigated by Taipower (photo courtesy of


Anonymous said...

Cambodia football history has recorded you (PPCFC). You will be remember forever. You have done a good job !

Anonymous said...

crown players reactions were right.