|Samrith Seiha - man of the match by a country mile|
The first-half well and truly belonged to the students from Ulsan, even though they didn't manage to break down Seiha's stubborn resistance. He was down quickly to stop a low drive in the second minute and was also equal to a 25-yard effort after seven minutes, but had his captain Say Piseth to thank for blocking a shot after his punch fell short in the 11th minute. Kwon Tae Cheol, Ulsan's matchwinner in the first friendly, was determined to match that feat and was about to celebrate a goal on 18 minutes until Seiha got a hand to his thunderbolt to keep his goal intact. It was a save that wins matches. Or doesn't in this case. On the half-hour Seiha was at it again, diving full stretch to fingertip a Go Yun Cheol fizzer around the post and was perfectly placed to catch Kwon's well-struck free-kick. With nothing seen of Cambodia as an attacking force, the Koreans were nearly caught unawares when Sok Chanraksmey won a tackle and fed Lay Raksmey, but he shot straight at the Ulsan keeper and the danger was cleared, with a minute left of the half. There was still time for Ulsan to go close again, a Go free-kick rattled the cross-bar as referee Khuon Virak blew the half-time whistle.
The second half was devoid of anything interesting until twenty minutes in and Cha Tae Young's inswinging shot from 25 yards smacked against the cross-bar, with Seiha in the right spot a couple of minutes later to keep out a low drive from the same player. Seiha left the field on 74 minutes, his return to the national team set-up a resounding success. Cambodia's best moment of the half came three minutes later. Keo Sokngon looked lively after his introduction and his burst into the box and shot was spilled by Ulsan keeper Young Bo Sang but Phuong Soksana was flagged for offside in the ensuing scramble. In the closing minutes Ulsan stepped up a gear with Yoon Sung Hee heading against the upright, before the students claimed the win they deserved on the balance of play, with just two minutes of regulation time left. Cambodia switched off at a short corner and Jeong Jong Hee let fly from 20 yards out on the angle and his drive caught everyone by surprise including sub keeper Om Vichet as the ball arrowed inside the near post. 1-0 to Ulsan and five minutes of time added on was not enough for Cambodia to avoid a second defeat in three days, by the same scoreline. One 1st half decision by coach Sovannara was a surprise. Kouch Dani was given just 24 minutes out wide on the right before he was replaced, which seemed harsh in the extreme as most of the play in the early exchanges was on the left side. A more obvious switch was for Alex Kem, who looked woefully short of the necessary midfield nous and on came San Narith after 32 minutes. Sovannara made another eight changes after half-time, though mass changes like that rarely produce the required result, and so it proved.
Cambodia v Ulsan: Seiha (Vichet 74), Raksmey, Vibol (Pancharong 46), Piseth, Thavrak (Rithy 46), Sopanha (Soksana 66), Kem (Narith 32), Vathanak (Vathanaka 56), Dani (Chanraksmey 24 (Sokngon 59), Chum (Sothearath 77), Vutha (Suhana 46). Bookings: Narith.
|Cambodia line-up. Back LtoR: Vathanak, Kem, Vibol, Sopanha, Thavrak, Piseth. Front: Chum, Vutha, Seiha, Dani, Raksmey - click to enlarge|
|The 3 PPCFC players who played today. LtoR; Kouch Dani, Samrith Seiha, Sos Suhana|
|Kouch Dani (14) walks behind Samrith Seiha as he makes his national team debut|