Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sokthorn levels it

PPCFC vs Boeungket, back row, LtoR: Sokthorn, Bisan, Thierry, Kim, Obadin, Ary. Front: Da, Sokheng, Koroma, Sothy, Booysen - click to enlarge
Saturday 21 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Boeungket 1 (Friendly).
For this friendly clash of the top two teams in the country at RSN Stadium, both sides were without some of their regular starters with Crown missing Kok Boris, Sos Suhana, Ngoy Srin and Sary Matnorotin, but in their absence the two teams offered up an entertaining game in front of a good-sized crowd. In the opening fifteen minutes, Khuon Laboravy sent a free-kick a few feet wide and Paul Omogba blasted a shot well over the crossbar, while Ouk Sothy had a long range effort easily gathered by Kim Makara in the Boeungket goal. The keeper then had to be at his best on 18 minutes as Shane Booysen let rip from nearly 40 yards with a sublime effort which the stopper fingertipped over the bar. Moments later George Bisan looked to have got past Makara but slipped at the crucial moment and the chance went begging. The visitors took the lead on 22 minutes when Laboravy knocked the ball back to Yemi Oyewole on the edge of the penalty area and he arrowed the ball into the top corner. Laboravy also went close when he was played in from a quickly-taken free-kick, but sent his shot wide of the target. From a Booysen cross, Va Sokthorn's far post half-volley was blocked and Bisan's follow-up shot was grabbed low down by Makara. As the play switched from end to end, Ary punched away a free-kick which Keo Sokpheng then returned high and wide, and the keeper was out smartish to take the ball off the toe of Omogba as Boeungket broke quickly. Booysen's deliveries were causing problems and another whipped cross was just inches away from Bisan, with Ouk Sothy's blast blocked on its way to goal. A 30-yard free-kick from Booysen then shaved the top of the crossbar. Ary was alert and saved well to his right as Chhun Sothearath sent in a low drive through a crowd of players, with the keeper again in the right place to push away Sokpheng's far post effort. The half ended with a move that cut Boeungket to pieces but saw Booysen send his final shot across the face of goal and just past the far post.

After the resumption, Crown kept their foot on the pedal and dominated the whole of the second-half. Santigie Koroma fed Bin Thierry and his rasping 30-yard half-volley stunned everyone but bounced back into play off the crossbar. Booysen and Koroma combined to feed Sokthorn through the middle but Peng Bunchhay was out in time to smother the attempt. Another Booysen goal-bound blast was blocked and Sothy's follow-up was held easily. Oyewole missed a sitter with what proved to be Boeungket's only chance of the half, and seconds later Thierry's inch-perfect pass sent in Leng Makara but he fired straight at the oncoming Bunchhay. Bisan blasted over after more good combination work between Booysen and Makara, and the two worked another opening, only for Booysen's effort to be held by the keeper. Bisan sent another effort over the top from Makara's pass, before Crown got the goal that their efforts fully deserved. With six minutes left on the clock, Thierry fed his national teammate Sokthorn on the edge of the box, he turned and sent a low drive in off the foot of the far post, to make it 1-1. Crown went in search of the match-winner and Sokthorn played in Booysen on the left flank but his vicious drive went the wrong side of the upright. With almost the final kick of the game, Thierry's perfect pass found Booysen at the far post but his volley was again blocked on its way to goal, and both teams settled for a share of the spoils from this entertaining encounter.
PPCFC vs BKet: Ary (Kochi 66), Sokheng (C Pisa 74), Da (Chetra 88), Kim, Obadin, Sothy, Thierry, Sokthorn, Koroma (Makara 66), Booysen, Bisan (S Pisa 79). Subs not used: Srey, Ursaphea, Charly, Tola, Sumaila, Yapo. Booked: Bisan. MOTM: Booysen. Goal: Sokthorn (84).

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