Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday's soccer

A coolly taken goal by BBU's Prum Puth Sethy took his team to the top of the CPL
I don't hate the word soccer, as many do, but it's what football is known as around the American-accented globe, hence the catchy headline. Saturday's games in the Cambodia Premier League were anything but classics. For much of both matches, it was all pretty dreary, the teams cancelling each other out and goalmouth action was scarce. There was more rolling around on the ground and being carried off on a stretcher than actual playing time. A rainstorm heralded the start of the second half of the opening game and a whipping wind took down all the advertising hordings and pitchside umbrellas at one stage too. To be honest, the weather conditions were more interesting than the football, and its rare to be able to say that. I watched the games in the company of the national team coach Prak Sovannara, so it was good to get his tactical perspective on what we saw, with his team, Preah Khan Reach - who he has been helping coach this season - and who play today, due to meet Spark next week so he was running the rule over his future opponents. The first match was Defense Ministry against Spark, pitching Khim Borey, last season's Golden Boot winner, with the leading scorer this season, Justine Prince from Spark. However, the two strikers failed to live up to the hype and both had quiet, almost anonymous afternoons. The goals arrived after the rain and in the last 15 minutes. Thong Oudom poked in the opener for the Defense team with Spark's Chhordaravuth heading in the equalier ten minutes from time, to keep his team unbeaten this season. A 1-1 draw was a fair result for this drab encounter. In the second match, Build Bright would've expected a harder game from Kirivong, but the Takeo-based team lacked their usual killer touch and BBU's Prum Puth Sethy finished coolly just before half-time, with the game's only goal. It has put BBU at the top of the table, before this afternoon's two matches and no-one would've expected that at the start of the seaon. The CPL is very tight so far this term, there's no runaway leader as many expected Crown to be, which gives all the teams something to play for. Amen to that.
This Kirivong Sok Sen Chey team suffered a surprise 1-nil defeat to BBU
Spark's Meak Chhordaravuth headed an equaliser for his unbeaten team against Defense Ministry
Unbeaten Spark FC, with leading scorer Justine Prince, 3rd from left back row
The Defense Ministry team with Khim Borey, 2nd from left back row, but still without Samreth Seiha in goal, who was amongst the subs

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