Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crown held by AEU

Crown v AEU. Back LtoR: Srin, Thierry, Seiha, Pheng, Rady, Boris. Front: Sothy, Dani, Suhana, Da, Borey - click to enlarge
With a full strength team, Phnom Penh Crown began their second Hun Sen Cup Group D game, with Asia Euro University at Olympic Stadium, slowly and AEU's Moun Nara missed his kick in front of goal that would've given the students a 9th minute lead. A knee injury to Pheak Rady left Crown depleted in defence and Nara made no mistake a second time, weaving his way past Thourng Da and into the box, before rolling his measured shot wide of Samrith Seiha in the 17th minute. Crown responded with Sos Suhana shooting low into the hands of AEU keeper Um Sereyrath. With Crown pressing for the leveller, a Khim Borey shot was fumbled by Sereyrath, who gathered at the 2nd attempt as Suhana closed in. Bin Thierry was next to test the keeper with a 25-yard effort and then Suhana rolled an inviting ball across the face of the AEU goal but no-one was on hand to capitalise. Just after the half hour, Kouch Dani's left-wing cross was bundled in by Borey, only for the referee to wipe out the goal for a foul on the AEU keeper. With two minutes of the first-half remaining, Thierry curled a 25-yard free-kick over the wall which Sereyrath failed to collect cleanly and Borey tucked in the rebound for the equaliser.

Crown went gunning for a second goal immediately after the restart. Thierry volleyed a half chance over the top and Hong Pheng fired a a low drive into the keeper's hands from the edge of the box. AEU offered a brief spell of resistance with Suey Visal heading wide from a free-kick and Serey Matnorothin sending his drive wide after Vi Lika lost possession. Pheng broke menacingly into the box but blasted his drive high and wide, while Borey's shot on the turn was pushed around the post by a diving Sereyrath. With Dani providing width on the left with his constant overlaps, Borey touched one of his crosses into the path of Ouk Sothy, but his effort lacked power to trouble Sereyrath. As time ebbed away, Suhana volleyed well wide of the target with two minutes left on the clock. In the third minute of time added on, Thorn Darapich broke through two tackles and let fly from 20 yards, which brought out a flying save from Crown keeper Seiha, as well as the referee's final whistle.

Honours even but Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber was far from happy. "We started off extremely nervous and we were too slow to organise from the injury to Rady and that mistake cost us the goal. We made too many mistakes, too many of our players lost the ball or slowed the game down, and we struggled to keep simple possession. We had a few exciting situations where we played the football I want to see but most of the game was frustrating, especially with giving possession away too easily. A draw was a fair result, we were more often in their face but we didn't create enough, we were indecisive in front of goal, we gave away too much ball and if we defend like this, we will be made to pay for it." The draw leaves the Group D finely balanced with Preah Khan beating Porsenchey 4-0. Crown need a draw from their final group match with PKR on 24 Jan to progress to the next round.
PPCFC v AEU: Seiha, Da, Dani, Srin, Rady (Lika 18), Sothy, Boris (Hasan 60), Thierry, Suhana, Pheng (Makara 77), Borey. Subs not used: Ary, Chamrouen, Dara, Seyha, Morslim, Kano, Phearun, Pisa. Bookings: Thierry, Lika. MOTM: Dani.

Khim Borey leads out the Crown team followed by Samrith Seiha and Sos Suhana

Khim Borey shaking hands with AEU skipper Sun Sovanratha
Feeling the cold - ice baths after the game for Thourng Da and Bin Thierry (right)

The AEU line-up that beat PKR 3-1 and Drew -1 with PPCFC

No comments: