Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frimpong on target

Crown v Western. Back Row LtoR: Tiny, Obadin, Frimpong, Dara, Sovan. Front: Rady, Suhana, Ary, Sothy, Sokumpheak, Borey
Phnom Penh Crown got their Metfone C-League title defence back on track this afternoon, beating Western University 2-0 at the Olympic Stadium, to post their first win of the new campaign, but they know they can do better. Coach David Booth tinkered with his starting line-up after their loss to Preah Khan and with Henry Asonibe carrying a foot injury, giving Chan Dara a place as the midfield anchor and Sok Sovan was moved to left-back to allow Tieng Tiny to partner Odion Obadin at the back. Crown dominated possession for the whole game, but it took them twenty minutes to get their first shot on target, a Khim Borey drive that went straight to the keeper. Five minutes later and Emmanuel Frimpong's pull-back from the bye-line ended up at the feet of Sos Suhana but his hastily-struck shot smashed against the cross-bar. Crown finally broke the deadlock on 33 minutes. Borey's cross found Frimpong, who played a one-two with Kouch Sokumpheak, chested down his chipped return and planted a right-foot shot past the Western keeper. It was a sweet moment for the Ghanaian newcomer to Crown's ranks. Borey ballooned another shot over the top and then in the first minute of time added on at the end of the 1st half, he got the important touch with a headed pass that led to Crown's second goal. Frimpong poked it forward, Borey's header sent Sokumpheak goalside of the Western defence and he slotted his shot wide of the keeper to put his team two-up at the interval.

In the 2nd period, Crown continued their dominance but found their finishing in need of some polish. Suhana shot straight at keeper Ngoy Boranuch, Frimpong's 25-yarder fizzed inches wide of the upright and Sokumpheak failed to make the keeper work hard enough. A 40-yard cross-field Sokumpheak pass found Suhana running in on goal, only for the youngster to miss-control at the crucial moment. Two Crown substitutes went close to scoring, with Hong Pheng looking certain to score until a last minute intervention. Within thirty seconds of Melvin Tarley's arrival, his first-time left-foot strike appeared to be heading for the corner before Boranuch pulled off a fine diving save to turn it for a corner. And that was it. Western offered little in offense but worked hard to keep the scoreline looking respectable.
PPCFC v Western Uni: Ary, Rady, Sovan, Tiny (Seyha 76), Obadin, Dara, Sothy, Frimpong, Suhana (Tarley 80), Borey (H Pheng 57), Sokumpheak (capt). Subs not used: Chamrouen, Da, Vanthan, Lika, Sophanal, Sovanna, S Pheng, Makara. Bookings: H Pheng, Obadin.

Crown head coach David Booth felt his side must do better. "I'm happy that we got a victory, we were never in any danger in the game. But to have so much of the ball, then to give the ball away so many times - we work every day in training at passing, passing, passing and to give the ball away like that is almost criminal. All the work that we do and we just can't keep the ball and make the right pass at the right time is just frustrating. We can play a whole lot better than that. I thought we'd have got another goal (in the 2nd half). I thought we played some decent football at times, especially towards the end of the game. But if we're not going to pass the ball properly, we're wasting the work we are putting together. We'll have to play a lot better against Naga and there might be changes for that game."
In the dressing room with goalscorer Kouch Sokumpheak at half-time
Last minute instructions from David Booth before the first whistle
Plucky Western Uni who did well to keep it at 2-0

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