Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oiboh inspires the Rubbermen

Julius Oiboh (center) scared Preah Khan to death
Controversy is never far from the surface in Cambodian football. And the Metfone C-League Super 4 play-off semi-finals day was no exception. Enter last season's C-League top scorer Julius Oiboh, who has been plying his trade with Bangkok Glass' 2nd team, Rangsit FC in Thailand all season, that is until this afternoon. Thrown into the fray by Boeung Ket, in their debut season in the C-League, much to the chagrin of the other three semi-final teams, Oiboh did exactly what Boeung Ket had hoped for, literally scared Preah Khan Reach to death and aided and abetted the Rubbermen into next Saturday's championship final. He scored two memorable goals in BK's 4-1 victory after extra time, and his mere presence on the field was enough to panic PKR into challenges that left referee Tuy Vichhika with little room to manoeuvre, flashing three red cards to the Military-Police team and effectively handing the tie to the newcomers from Kompong Cham. With Oiboh's border-crossing allowed by the FFC's obliging rules but leaving many with a sour taste in the mouth, Boeung Ket had the luxury of relegating their top scorer Friday Nwakuna to the grandstand, whilst PKR chose their 2nd-string keeper and left two national team players twiddling their thumbs on the bench.
It was Preah Khan who drew first blood on 20 minutes when a Tum Saray corner wasn't cleared and David Njoku was on hand to turn the ball over the line from close in. Within six minutes, BK and Oiboh had levelled. Vichhika generously awarded the Nigerian a free-kick 25 yards out and central and the marksman's aim was straight and true as he thumped the ball into the top corner of the net. The game wasn't exactly awash with chances and only really came alive on 69 minutes when PKR's Sok Rithy was booked for a second time in the space of less than a minute for an identical offence, pulling Oiboh back as he threatened to race away wide on the left flank. Referee Vichhika was left with no choice and the red card quickly followed the second yellow. With the tie bearing little fruit by way of excitement and heading into extra time, it was seven minutes into the ten added on by Vichhika that PKR suffered their second major blow. A rash challenge out wide by Busayo Adekunjo on Oiboh, his second of the game, saw the referee reach for his top pocket and pull out a second yellow and a red card, leaving PKR in dire straits and down to nine men in extra time.
Just to add another dash of controversy to the mix, Boeung Ket took the lead in the 8th minute of the first half of extra time. From a corner, Oiboh smashed the ball into the six yard box where it struck his own player Keo Sokpheng and rebounded out to Sumaila Momoh whose low drive found the corner of the net. That triggered an angry reaction from the PKR players who claimed a handball from Sokpheng, who had been stretchered off and replaced, but the match officials were having none of it and awarded the goal. Preah Khan were on the ropes and Boeung Ket took advantage. Twenty-one minutes into extra time and Oiboh had time and space to feed substitute Hong Makara and his chip nestled in the net. A minute later and Prak Mony Udom's dangerous tackle on, you've guessed it, Oiboh, saw Vichhika brandish a straight red card. By this time he was keeping his cards in his hands rather than replace them into his pocket. PKR's Nen Sothearoth struck an upright from a free-kick, but Boeung Ket were on a roll and the mercurial Oiboh rounded off proceedings in the final minute of extra time with another of his solo wonder goals. Weaving his way past four PKR defenders and goalkeeper, he poked the ball home with the supreme confidence of a man who had just put his team into their first-ever cup final. Preah Khan's worst nightmare had come true.
The Boeung Ket starting line-up could afford to leave out top scorer Friday Nwakuna and still win 4-1

Preah Khan Reach found Boeung Ket too hot to handle, losing 4-1

Referee Tuy Vichhika in happier times with the two captains. He hadn't shown any cards at this point.

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