|PPCFC v Boeung Ket. Back Row LtoR: Boris, Pheng, Thierry, Obadin, Narin, Srin. Front Row: Suhana, Ary, Makara, Borey (capt), Sokumpheak.|
Vathanaka's goal-bound free-kick early after the restart was headed clear by Obadin, before Thierry was cautioned, even though he never touched his opponent. Fourteen minutes after the break, Khim Borey's cross found Sokumpheak all alone in the box but his header sailed harmlessly wide, and seconds later his turn and shot hit Ly Ravy and went for a corner. The best opportunity fell to Sos Suhana on sixteen minutes when Peng Bunchhay's punch landed at his feet on the edge of the box but he blasted his drive over the top with the goalkeeper on the floor. Sam Schweingruber tried to enliven his team with a couple of substitutions and positional changes and it very nearly paid dividends on 69 minutes. Another Thierry free-kick, this time 30-yards from goal, was heading for the top corner only for Bunchhay to leap to his left and claw the ball away for a corner. Fabulous stuff from both players. Moments later and Suhana sent a looping header over the cross-bar. Unable to find an equaliser, Crown paid a heavy price as Boeung Ket broke quickly, Vathanaka out-muscled Pheak Rady and played a one-two with Sokngorn, racing into the box and finishing with confidence, on 76 minutes. Crest-fallen, Crown replied with a looping overhead kick from Leng Makara after Bunchhay's weak punch, but Boeung Ket raced clear again, only for new signing Befolo Mbarga to find Ary in no mood to concede a fourth goal. In another five minutes of added on time, Crown continued to press with Borey having a shot blocked, Bunchhay pulling off another finger-tip full-length save this time from Nelson Oladiji's bobbling drive, Hong Pheng hammering a 25-yarder inches high and finally, Oladiji mis-kicking in front of goal with the final kick of the match. Game over, 3-1 to the league leaders to extend their run to seven straight wins, but it was far from plain-sailing and without referee Yean Kivatana's intervention, the match would've been a much closer affair.
For coach Schweingruber, there were pluses to take from the game. "It definitely didn't go our way today. I don't understand what happened with the red card, but we were already a goal down which came pretty much out of nowhere and was unstoppable. Then the red card and a second goal. That's when we finally woke up and I saw a PPC team who though we didn't dominate, you didn't know who had less players and I have to compliment my team for working extremely hard until the 70th minute. Up to that point we looked like the team who could walk off as winners, 10-men and at 2-1 down we looked the better team in my opinion. They were restricted to a few counter-attacks and we were creating chances, moving well, fighting hard, everyone was working for each other. We had a great chance with a free-kick and also from a corner, but its those chances you have to take when you are in our position. We couldn't manage to score, which is the story of our season, we don't score enough of our chances. We had to do something, we made a couple of changes but it didn't work. They scored on a break, which wasn't a surprise and that finished the game off. Then again in the last ten minutes I have to compliment my team, we were down but we were fighting and that's the kind of spirit I want to see and in any other game, we'd walk off with a victory."
PPCFC line-up: Ary, Srin, Pheng, Narin (Rady 62), Obadin, Boris, Thierry, Suhana, Makara (Pisa 84), Sokumpheak (Nelson 69), Borey. Subs not used: Dara, Sothy, Lika, Dary, Seyha, Morslim, Kano, Phearun. Bookings: Srin (+ red card), Thierry, Obadin. MOTM: Thierry.