|PPCFC. Back Row LtoR: Da, Seyha, Pisa, Ary, Narin, Lika. Front Row: Morslim, Dara, Phearun, Sothy (capt), Suhana - click to enlarge|
For all of the second half, bar a final last few minutes flurry, Kirivong were absent as an attacking force. That left Crown, with a makeshift strikeforce of Phearun and Morslim, to take control and with better finishing they could've and should've registered a goal. First Pisa and then Phearun chased balls into the box but couldn't get a shot away, then Suhana latched onto Leng Makara's header but fired straight into the hands of keeper Kim Makara. The same pair carved open the Kirivong defence soon after but the result was the same, with Makara stopping Suhana's effort. The match fizzled out into a midfield muddle until the closing minutes when Phan Bunlong shot wide, Friday did likewise and a free-kick from Heng Koemhoung was fisted clear by Ary in the final action of the match. A second string Crown line-up had held Kirivong with relative ease and at the same time, registered a new record with only 13 goals conceded in 18 league matches, beating the previous record held by Phnom Penh Empire of 15 goals in 2008. That was a real plus for coach Schweingruber. "While Kirivong had 2 or 3 good chances in the first-half, very hard defensive work by Crown restricted them to a few shots from distance after that. Our inexperienced attackers failed to get their shot away early enough when we went forward. We had better chances in the second half and on three occasions should have scored with one-on-one attempts with their keeper. Though we didn't score, we did succeed in our main objective of keeping a clean sheet for a 7th time and set the new record of conceding only 13 goals in the entire season - a big achievement and the result of many hours of hard work on the training pitch focusing on solid defense. Having released a lot of defenders and then losing Rady and Dani during the season, its an achievement to be proud of."
With superior goal difference to their nearest rivals Svay Rieng, it looked as though Crown would finish the season in second spot in the table with both teams finishing on 33 points, but in the game at the Old Stadium, AEU offered up no resistance as they were bullied into a 10-3 defeat, giving Svay Rieng second place by virtue of the same goal difference as Crown, but by scoring more goals. Crown wrapped up the regular season in 3rd spot.
PPCFC line-up: Ary, Da, Seyha, Narin, Lika, Sothy (capt), Pisa, Suhana, Phearun (Kano 72), Dara (Makara 57), Morslim (Ratana 81). Subs not used: Seiha, Srin, Pheng, Thierry, Sokumpheak. Bookings: Phearun. MOTM: Ary.