Saturday, May 18, 2013

Foreign imports strike

PPCFC v Nat Police. Back Row LtoR: Seyha, Pheng, Boris, Ha-Neul, Lika, Obadin. Front Row: Sokumpheak, Da, Seiha, Makara, Borey (capt).
Phnom Penh Crown coach Sam Schweingruber beamed a big smile at the end of his team's 3-0 win over National Police at the Army Stadium today, as his Crown charges got their season back on track to move into third spot in the Metfone C-League. "It went really well today," said the Swiss-born coach. "It was about getting back to our Kirivong performance and forgetting the BBU disaster, and I think we did a good job in displaying that fighting attitude, belief, passion and motivation to win the game. The gameplan was to go for everything from the 1st minute and make it impossible for them to play through us...A very good day. We did a lot of things really well today. And no bookings, which makes a nice change, despite the referee giving almost everything against us the entire game." There were goals for each of Crown's foreign imports involved in the game, though Dutch striker Elroy van der Hooft missed out with a knee injury and French-born Bin Thierry sat out through suspension. Schweingruber will be pleased with the work-rate and positive attitude shown by his players today, they were often first to the ball, closing down their opponents in vital areas and reacting quickly on the break. They took the lead on 26 minutes through South Korean Lee Ha-Neul, who had a storming performance on his return from suspension, in only his second game. The Police defence failed to clear and Sky, as he's known to all, pounced on the loose ball and hit a first-time dipping drive that arrowed into the corner of the net from 25 yards out. Up to that point, it was all Crown. Ha-Neul had already tried his luck with a long range drive over the top before Leng Makara twice went agonisingly close. Picked out beautifully by Ha-Neul, Makara chested the ball forward but leaned back and skyed his shot from eight yards out 14 minutes into the match. Eight minutes later and Khim Borey skated past the full-back and delivered a pinpoint cross which Makara reached first but directed his header past the far post. Crown continued to press and cause Police concerns though they only had a Borey high and wide effort to show for their troubles. Ha-Neul looked to break into the box just before the break but was held back by San Thideth, who was fortunate just to get a yellow for his professional foul. Borey placed the free-kick wide of the target.

The pattern of the second half pretty much followed the first with Crown dominating and pulling the strings. Eight minutes in and Kouch Sokumpheak, revelling in a central midfield role, broke and crossed for Borey but Police stopper Yasuyuki Yoshida won the duel. Next up, Borey collected a Ha-Neul chip and weaved his way into the box but the opportunity to shoot fizzled out. Fifteen minutes played and a Ha-Neul thirty-yard shot was deflected for a corner. A peach of a corner kick from Sokumpheak was tipped onto Odion Obadin's head by Yoshida but the keeper was able to catch the rebound. Obadin was again in the action two minutes later as Sokumpheak's cross and Borey's neat touch set him up fifteen yards out, but his blast sailed past the far post. Crown increased their lead on 68 minutes from another corner power-play. Ha-Neul showed a clean pair of heels to Joel Omoraka on the bye-line and pulled it back, only to see Borey's tasty shot tipped onto the bar by Yoshida's amazing one-handed point-blank save. From the resulting corner, Sokumpheak's dead-ball was met by a surging run from Obadin and his powerful header gave Yoshida no chance. A minute later and the Police were down to ten men, Thideth picking up a silly second yellow for obvious dissent. There was no way back for the Police after that. With 15 minutes to go, Crown brought on their other Korean import, Choi Jae-Cheol and within a minute his compatriot had slotted him through but Yoshida was equal to his angled shot. With the clock ticking down, Ha-Neul chipped a cheeky ball over the top of the defence and Jae-Cheol's first-time lob just cleared the cross-bar. At the other end, Crown keeper Samrith Seiha was alert to thwart Tith Dina as he broke through the back-line for the first time in the match and fired in a goal-bound shot. Twenty seconds before the end of normal time, Kok Boris and Sos Suhana combined to put Jae-Cheol in space and his well-placed shot quickly nestled in the far corner for Crown's third. Yoshida denied Suhana in the fourth minute of injury time, but the damage had already been done and Crown's well-deservedd victory took them into third place above NagaCorp.
PPCFC Line-up: Seiha, Da, Seyha (Jae-Cheol 75), Lika, Obadin, Boris (Dara 91), Sokumpheak, Ha-Neul, Pheng, Makara (Suhana 65), Borey. Subs not used: Ary, Soksela, Ratana, Narin, Morslim, Kano, Phearun, Pisa. Bookings: None. MOTM: Ha-Neul.
Head coach Sam Schweingruber speaks to the press after the 3-0 success


Anonymous said...

Like a foreign team in Cambodia league, can't improve the local players.


Andy Brouwer said...

Setha, I have to disagree. If you get the right type of foreign players, who lead by example and work closely with the Khmer players, the local boys will improve. Unfortunately most of the foreigners in the C-League do not go out of their way to help and assist their Khmer colleagues. Its up to the foreigners to show the right attitude and professionalism and the Khmers will follow. It all stems from the coaching staff, who must also generate a club ethic that is based on continual improvement on the local talent, working in tandem with the foreign imports.