Crown starting line-up. Back LtoR: Asonibe, Frimpong, Ary, Dara, Tiny, Obadin. Front: Rady, Borey, Suhana, Vanthan, SokumpheakMore than sixty players were on the pitch in this afternoon's practice match at the RSN Stadium where Phnom Penh Crown took on Boeung Ket, in a return friendly after Crown won 2-1 in Kompong Cham recently. This time around, Boeung Ket came out on top 6-4, after three periods of forty minutes each allowed both teams to give players a good run-out, and to try different formations. Under a scorching hot sun, Crown had led 4-1, twenty minutes into the second period but allowed Boeung Ket to sneak back to 4-4 in the dying minutes of the half. In the third and final period, Julius Oiboh, the ex-Naga striker who is in the middle of a 'will he, won't he' move to Thailand or Myanmar, or stay in Cambodia, showed his finishing ability to snatch the deciding final two goals. Crown began the game with a strong line-up and opened the scoring on 16 minutes as Khim Borey raced onto a touch forward by Sos Suhana and slipped his shot under the advancing Peng Bunchhay, one of a plethora of former Crown players in the opposition ranks. Two minutes later and Boeung Ket were level. Borey's effort a few minutes later was cleared off the goal-line as Bunchhay clattered into the Crown striker. Emmanuel Frimpong's shot was deflected for a corner and in the ensuing melee, Henry Asonibe's pass found Odion Obadin and his cut-back was sidefooted home by Kouch Sokumpheak on 33 minutes. A minute later, Borey should've extended the lead but sent his shot on the run inches wide.
With changes aplenty on both sides, Crown began the second period in the ascendency and on 52 minutes, Sokumpheak rose high to head Frimpong's free-kick into the top corner of the net. Eight minutes later, Sok Pheng and Chan Chaya carved open the Boeung Ket defence and a perfectly weighted pass to Sokumpheak, saw him round the keeper and roll his shot into a gaping net for his hat-trick and 4-1. On 66 minutes a cross sailed inside the far post to give Boeung Ket a lifeline and two more close-range efforts in five minutes saw them edge level again at the end of the second period. In the final forty-minute half, a young Crown team failed to deal with the danger that we know Julius Oiboh can create and he toyed with the defenders before finding the net twice to give Boeung Ket a 6-4 victory. A glaring miss from Leng Makara at the very end made no difference. For Crown, head coach David Booth gave playing time to Pheak Rady, Chan Chaya, Kingsley Njoku and a new face in striker Melvin Tarley, who has just touched down from the United States. They have another practice match lined-up for Thursday against Western University at a venue yet to be confirmed.
Crown line ups: 1st 40mins: Ary, Rady, Vanthan, Tiny, Obadin, Dara, Asonibe, Frimpong, Suhana, Borey, Sokumpheak.
2nd 40 mins: Chamroeun, Dara, Vanthan (Seyha 72), Sovan, Obadin, Sovanna, Asonibe, Frimpong (Sothy 60), Chaya, S Pheng, Sokumpheak (Tarley 66).
3rd 40 mins: Oudom, Da, Seyha, Srin, Lika, Sophanal, Sovanna (Kimhor 89), Rathanak, Makara, S Pheng (Njoku 98), Tarley (H Pheng 88).
Crown's 2nd period line-up. Back LtoR: Chamroeun, Vanthan, Asonibe, Frimpong, Obadin, Dara. Front: Sokumpheak, S Pheng, Sovanna, Chaya, Sovan
Crown's 3rd period line-up. Back LtoR: Marley, Oudom, Da, Srin, Seyha, Lika. Front: Makara, Rathanak, Sophanal, Sovanna, S Pheng