Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Final game ends in defeat

PPCFC vs Svay Rieng, Lost 2-3, back row, LtoR: Soksela, Kim, Thierry, Aymard, Jang, Boris. Front: Sothy, Pissa, Sokpheng, Baraing, Makara.
Wednesday 24 August 2016: Phnom Penh Crown 2 PKR Svay Rieng 3 (Metfone C-League Round 18).
Crown came away from Svay Rieng disappointed at not bringing back at least a point from their final league game of the 2016 season. They deserved it with a battling performance. The visitors began on the front foot and had Svay Rieng pinned back for the opening five minutes but it was the home side who took the lead in the 10th minute when Hoy Phallin fired past Keo Soksela after Obi Moneke had created the space. Kim Hyeon Woo netted only to be flagged offside and then somehow screwed his shot wide from close range after Keo Sokpheng’s weaving run on the left. On 29 minutes Prak Mony Udom scored an unstoppable free-kick from 23 yards to put the home team further ahead. The game continued to provide talking points when Kim was felled twice in the penalty box, Bin Thierry got behind the defence but blasted high and wide and Sokpheng’s free-kick was scrambled wide at the foot of the post. An even first half had seen SVR take their chances to lead 2-nil.
Jang In Yong continued to be a threat but blasted over on the restart, while another Udom free-kick had Soksela scuttling to his near post. A scuffle between Kok Boris and Lee Jongho saw both players cautioned, though two SVR substitutes that joined in the commotion went unpunished. Thierry failed to connect with any power when Sokpheng’s corner fell to him but Crown were back in the game on 67 minutes. Jang’s bustling run between three defenders wrong-footed the SVR defence and Sokpheng dispatched the pull-back with accuracy. PPCFC were on top at this point and a Thierry free-kick was back-headed goalwards by Jang only for the home keeper to produce a flying one-handed save. The home side then broke quickly and a foul on the edge of the area gave Udom the opportunity to find the net with a second free-kick that Soksela couldn’t keep out. A third goal against the run of play was a tough pill to swallow. Crown rallied, with Anthony Aymard heading over and a Thierry corner going through a host of bodies in the six-yard box. Crown did pull a goal back, four minutes into stoppage time, when Boris finished off a powerful run with an accurate shot from distance, but it was too late to repair the damage as the season came to a close with defeat.
PPCFC Head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his views after the final whistle. “Our defensive organisation wasn’t quite right at the start, they threatened us with their speed and it took us a while to adjust. We went 1-nil down but we had quite a few chances, especially one for Kim, so you would’ve expected us to go to half-time with a better result. Quite a few moments when on a good day we would have scored more goals and actually won the game. Fortunately for SVR, Udom scored two good free-kicks that helped them get the win. The first free-kick, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop that. No goalkeeper can stop that one. The second free-kick, we have to do better and we will re-evaluate that with our goalkeeping coach. As for SVR’s third goal, that was not really fair as we’d had a few good attacking moves before that, and that goal hurt us.
Jang had good speed and touches today, very good to see. Sokpheng was good as well, a neat finish and good moments with his movement and intentions. The attitude of Baraing was very good, he’s a 16-year-old boy but his energy and intentions to attack is very encouraging as that kind of attitude will help us to be champions again in the future.”

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