Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bunna's big day

The Army, 5-2 winners over Chhlam Samuth this afternoon

A quick round-up of Sunday's Metfone C-League games, if that's possible. The first match was easy enough, just 1 goal and not a lot else. BBU threw a spanner in the works of a resurgent Kirivong by winning with a Ny Chinan close range poke over the line on 25 minutes. Kirivong had survived a 13th minute scare when In Vichheka pulled back Pech Sina but Oum Chandara's penalty was easily saved by Kun Thnou. Vichheka was last man so was lucky to stay on the field. Five minutes from the end, Kirivong's day went from bad to worse when Heng Kimhong was given a straight red card for a tackle in midfield. The biggest gasps from the crowd during the game came about because of the fierce lightning that was happening all around the stadium.

In the 2nd game of the day, it was a nice surprise to see 18 year old Nim Bunna making his debut in goal from Chhlam Samuth. Well, I think it was his debut. He was the third-string keeper with Phnom Penh Crown last year but never saw action, so today was his C-League debut. And it was a debut he's unlikely to forget in a hurry. Let's look at the game through his eyes. He was called into action on four minutes when he tipped a shot from under the bar. On 16 minutes he wasn't quick enough with his punch, collided with his teammate and needed attention, as Phlong Chanthou headed the Army into the lead. At the other end George Bisan lashed the equalizer past Army stopper Sou Yaty after waltzing past three players four minutes later. Just before the half-hour, Bunna didn't stand a chance when Khek Khemarin hit an unstoppable half-volley like an arrow from twenty yards. The whole Chhlam Samuth team, apart from Bunna, surrounded the referee claiming Khemarin had handled the ball when he controlled it. They had a case. Referee Khoun Virak was a busy boy with four yellow cards in as many minutes before the Army made it 3-1 on the stroke of half-time when Chanthou touched home Chhin Chhoeun's driven cross. Bisan hammered another trademark 25-yarder past Yaty seven minutes after the interval but the Army didn't falter and two minutes later, Pom Tola curled a 35-yard free-kick into the far top corner from way out by the touchline, that left Bunna grasping thin air. A late tackle by Chan Pichealy sparked a melee on the hour. Virak showed him yellow and then red for a 2nd booking and was immediately surrounded by ten Chhlam Samuth players, pushing and shoving the referee. He gamely flashed another yellow in the direction of the gang around him before peace was eventually restored. Bunna's handling was a bit shaky but he pulled out a great save to deny Pov Phearith a 40-yard screamer, that he turned onto the post and collected. He pulled off another good stop from Phoung Soksana, but five minutes from time he made a hash of another Phearith piledriver from distance and let it slip through his fingers and over the line, to make it 5-2 for the Army. In time added on the young keeper made another good stop at his near post from Chhoeun, on what will certainly be a day to remember for Nim Bunna.
A day to remember for Nim Bunna, debutant goalkeeper with Chhlam Samuth

BBU won 1-0 this afternoon

Kirivong went down 1-0 and finished the game with 10-men

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