Tuesday, June 3, 2014

MCL Round-up

The reduced Metfone C-League program at the weekend saw Phnom Penh Crown extend their lead at the top to five points, playing Kirivong off the park, a very wet park I should add, winning 3-0 and totally dominating the game. It was as one-sided a match as you will see. Torrential rain threatened the game though referee Thong Chankethya decided that the water lying on the surface wouldn't stop the teams playing sloshball so they kicked off just 25 minutes late, under the Olympic Stadium floodlights. From the start, Crown kept the ball and two goals by George Bisan gave them a clear winning advantage by the break. Ly Morslim then netted his 1st goal for the club as they ran out very easy winners. Kirivong were never at the races and more performances like that, and they will be heading out of the league. Crown surge into a 5 point lead at the top of the ladder with NagaCorp not playing after their Singapore debacle. Boeung Ket were hoping to close the gap on Saturday but came partially unstuck against National Police, only drawing 0-0. Both sides hit the woodwork but goalless just about summed up the game. In the all-Japanese clash on Saturday, Chan Rithy rolled back the years to send a 40-yard strike sailing over the keeper's head to give TriAsia the lead. Just two minutes later, Albirex Niigata's new striker, Yasuke Ueda levelled and that's how it stayed, 1-1.  Continuing the theme of drawn games, on Sunday Western Uni's Men Seyha hit a swinger from 30 yards which sailed in, but a minute before the break, Phourng Soksana equalised for Army, and 1-1 was how it finished. Midweek games involving NagaCorp and Boeung Ket will throw a bit more light on the race for the championship, though Crown coach Sam Schweingruber feels; "Its still too early to think too far ahead of ourselves, and with so many games to go, there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us." Crown have eight games left to play.

Update: Boeung Ket came from a goal down early on, and an own goal at that, to beat Svay Rieng 2-1 on Wednesday. Chan Vathanaka, used sparingly this season by the Rubbermen, got the match winner but there was controversy with criticism of the match referee and his assistants. In the second match, rain caused a half-hour delay before Kirivong took a shock lead against NagaCorp, who finally woke up after the break. A 3-1 win for Naga was marred by two red cards for Kirivong, including their keeper Kem Makara for an x-rated tackle on Naga's winger Barry Lelouma, while coaches from both teams were dismissed to the stands. Military Police had to jump in when both teams squared up to each other. Both results ate into Phnom Penh Crown's lead at the top of the table.

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