|PPCFC v Police (courtesy of Masayori Ishikawa), back row, LtoR: Boris, Makara, Bisan, Yaty, Obadin. Front: Sothy, Da, Pheng, Suhana, Borey, Sokumpheak - click to enlarge|
That man again, George Bisan, scored the only goal of the game for the 2nd week running to give Crown the three points in this evening's Metfone C-League win over tough nut to crack National Police. Coach Sam Schweingruber made only one change for the game with Thourng Da replacing the suspended Ngoy Srin. Crown kicked off and in the fifth minute, Kouch Sokumpheak combined well with Khim Borey before bringing out a diving push around the post by police keeper Yasuyuki Yoshida. Leng Makara was close to getting on the end of a George Bisan pass before Hong Pheng made a timely interception at the other end of the pitch. A quickly-taken free kick from Odion Obadin, playing despite a serious mouth injury sustained in training, saw Bisan hold off two defenders only to see his shot deflected into Yoshida's hands. On 22 minutes it was the Nigerian hitman who again went closest, with a cheeky 25-yard lob from out of the blue, clipping the top of the woodwork. Borey sent a dipping shot across the face of goal before Police finally got into the game with a half hour gone. A Kok Boris pass back to Sou Yaty took a bad bounce and the keeper's faintest of touches put it past the post for a corner. Soon after Tith Dina's shot from distance was palmed aside by Yaty, and then a long punt upfield by Sob Ravy gave Yaty a heart-stopping moment, when he misjudged the bounce and failed to gather it but smothered the ball at the second attempt. With Police sensing a sliver of panic in the Crown backline, Reijin Tani avoided Yaty's rush and was only denied by Obadin's long legs, allowing Yaty to recover the ball, in the final action of the opening half.
Bisan was again to the fore as Crown pushed for the opening goal after the restart. An early goal attempt took a deflection and was collected by Yoshida. A fumble by the keeper to Borey's cross nearly gave Makara an opportunity but the danger was cleared. On 55 minutes, Crown broke the deadlock and Bisan was the man to do it. A Boris pass forward was collected by Sokumpheak and his surging run took him past three players before feeding the ball to Crown's top scorer. Bisan's first touch set himself up and he unleashed a low, hard drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area to register his sixth of the season. The goal celebration, with players scanning the ground, was a replay of the Obadin training accident, when he lost a tooth a day or two earlier. Neou Sosela replaced Makara soon after and immediately sent a low fizzing drive from distance just wide of the upright. With sixty-three minutes on the clock, a poor challenge on Sokumpheak allowed Borey to strike a 22-yard free kick, that curled dangerously but hit the outside of the post. Yoshida dropped the ball under pressure from Bisan but the danger was averted, and then Bisan broke intro the box, after battling for the ball with Sokumpheak and a trio of Police defenders, but as he took aim, a last-ditch tackle by Ravy saved the day. Crown looked set to score another when Borey's corner was header back by Obadin and Bisan's header was on target, with Yoshida keeping it out on the goal-line and Sokumpheak sending the rebound over the top. A minute later, the Crown skipper robbed the last defender, swept into the penalty area but rolled his shot agonisingly wide of the post. It had been all Crown until this point of the second half. A free-kick by Noun Borey with four minutes to go gave Police their first sight of goal and it needed a touch around the post by Yaty to keep his team in front. As they had done at the end of the first half, Police found another gear, but Crown still had chances to extend their lead. Sokumpheak tried an inswinging free-kick that Yoshida punched off the line, and then Bisan broke away with Police's Ravy trying to keep up, the Crown striker hit the deck, but referee Chi Samedy gave the free-kick to the Police defender. In the fifth minute of injury time, Yaty was again the man in the way as Tani's diving header was pushed aside by Crown's national team stopper, the whistle blew and Crown retained their place at the top of the table for the Khmer New Year break. “We were far superior to them today,” said Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber after the game. “I’m a bit disappointed with how often we give away the responsibility of pulling the trigger and try to score - it keeps being a topic in training. The goal was a good example of what we need to be doing - having that killer instinct.”
PPCFC v Nat Police: Yaty, Da, Pheng, Boris, Obadin, Sothy, Suhana, Sokumpheak, Makara (Sosela 57), Borey (Oliveira 87), Bisan. Subs not used: Soksela, Dara, Sokheng, Pisa, Chanpolin, Titchhy, Morslim. Bookings: Makara, Borey, Sosela. MOTM; Yaty, with important saves at important moments. Goal: Bisan (55).