Friday, May 10, 2013
Bounced out of the cup
It's time to look back at the AFC President's Cup qualifying matches just concluded earlier today at the Olympic Stadium. The first thing to note is that the home side, Boeung Ket, failed to progress. This is the third time the group matches have been played in Cambodia and the first time that the hosts have not gone onto the final stages. For the past two years, Phnom Penh Crown proceeded to the finals. This time around, the Rubbermen's hopes were high after opening up with a 6-0 win over the whipping boys from Sri Lanka but a 2-0 defeat on Wednesday to the wily Balkan team from Turkmenistan meant they had to beat the Palestinians from Al-Quds Hilal this afternoon. It was too much cat and mouse for my liking, there was little attempt to pummel the Palestine team into submission and the tentative approach didn't work as the visitors scored late on to win the game, 1-nil. No President's Cup glory this season for the current C-League leaders. Instead, Balkan deservedly top the group with a 3-2 win over Al-Quds and a 5-0 success earlier today against the Sri Lanka Army. They go onto the finals to be held in September. Al-Quds recovered from that first day loss to beat Sri Lanka 10-0 and give themselves the advantage going into today's tie. An advantage that gave them a cushion to go onto win in front of an official attendance of 5,500 at the Olympic Stadium.