Saturday, July 20, 2013

All done and dusted

The PPCFC team collect their medals and 3rd place cheque
The Phnom Penh Crown players collected their third place medals and a cheque for 36,000,000 million riels (that's $9,000) at the closing ceremony for the Metfone C-League this afternoon. That wasn't the main event but perhaps the highlight for some. The rain was coming down in buckets at that time. Earlier in the afternoon, it was not much more than a drizzle as Svay Rieng (who changed their name from Preah Khan Reach in mid-season) took on Boeung Ket in the Championship Play-off Final. The two teams finished in the top two places in the league, so if we must have this farce of a play-off then they were the two teams who merited it. On the day, ex-PKR registered their first MCL title with a single goal success, courtesy of a Khuon Laboravy strike from 25 yards just five minutes before half-time. Not only has the striker battled back from a serious knee injury, but he also collected the Golden Boot with 20 goals and to cap it all, the FFC gave him the Best Player of the Season award. Bags of credit to the popular striker, though the stand-out best player of the season award should've gone to Chukwuma Ohuruogu, the Boeung Ket defender. The final itself was even-steven for most of the first period, aside from that Laboravy strike, with the Rubbermen putting on more pressure after the break but unable to get past the game's outstanding player, Sok Rithy. He was a mountain in the ex-PKR backline. Billed as a clash of the goalscoring giants, Laboravy won that battle hands down as Boeung Ket's Bisan George was quiet as a mouse. The crowd was clocked at 6,000, though I never believe any attendance figures, with Boeung Ket giving away free t-shirts at the gate to anyone who would pledge their 90-minutes allegiance to the Rubbermen. The other awards went to ex-PKR's Sam Vandeth as coach of the year, Boeung Ket scooped up the Fair Play award, with the cash prizes of $14,500 for 1st place and $12,000 for the runners-up. Two more awards that I must take issue with are the top goalkeeper award that was given to ex-PKR's second-choice stopper Am Sovannarath, who played just half a season of games, and the annual award of the best referee to Thong Chankethya. Surely the goalkeeper with the best shut-out record having conceded the least number of goals must be in with a shout (Samrith Seiha), while Chankethya getting the referee award, again, smacks of FFC cronyism at its best. No change there then. So that's it for another season. All done and dusted. Aside from the small matter of relegation and promotion with Senate and AEU destined for the drop, but it remains as clear as mud who will take their place.
Ex-PKR, now called Svay Rieng, claim the MCL trophy for the 1st time

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