There's no hiding behind the fact that Phnom Penh Crown were woefully under the level of performance demanded by their coach David Booth today. And he left them in no doubt about that after the final whistle. A freak goal four minutes shy of the ninety from skipper Tieng Tiny's 35-yard free-kick out on the left-side touchline, levelled the tie at 1-1 but it was touch and go and Crown can count themselves a mite fortunate. National Police offered only mediocre resistance and led through a hit 'n' hope from Tith Dina 13 minutes after the interval but it was Crown's inability to keep the ball and string their passes together, as well as losing full-back Chan Dara to a straight red card with twenty minutes remaining, that will need remedying before Monday's final Hun Sen Cup Group D decider with Boeung Ket.
The main talking point before, during and after the match however, was the Cambodian football federation's refusal to allow Khim Borey to take his place in the Crown starting line-up. It's believed the Army team wrote to the FFC demanding that Borey and Boeung Ket's Sin Dalin, both former Army players, should not be allowed to play, and the FFC fell into line with their command. Borey's name was scrubbed from the start list. The Army did exactly the same in last season's Hun Sen Cup and Borey was left kicking his heels then as he was today. Crown appealed the decision thirty minutes before the start of the game and Borey was allowed to be named as one of the substitute's, which in itself makes a mockery of the FFC's decision. It left the Crown line-up depleted and the team's game-plan with last minute changes.
More from today's match later.