Monday, August 31, 2009

Penultimate madness

Ministry of National Defense eased to a 2-nil win over Kirivong
Despite having a lie-in on Sunday morning, I conked out in front of the tv on Sunday evening and have just woken up (1am on Monday morning). That's my excuse for the lateness of the football reports from Sunday afternoon's games at Olympic Stadium. The Cambodian Premier League is in its penultimate week of league competition before the play-offs decide the final league rankings - as a traditionalist its not a system I like at all but its designed to create more excitement at the end of a long, hard slog. For me, it's the slog that's important, coming out on top after playing your rivals twice and earning the right to call yourself champions - not the winners of a 4-team tournament. This is my 2nd gripe about the same topic in two days, I must be getting old and forgetful. Back to the action. The Defense Ministry (MND) rattled two goals past Kirivong without reply, Phuong Soksana and Nov Soseila netting for the army boys. In the diminuative Soseila, they have a young man willing to take on any defence and also get stuck in. I know Scott O'Donell, the national coach, likes his attitude, so expect him to feature for Cambodia in the future. MND's best striker Khim Borey is still out of action, as he has been for most of the season, but he's had an operation on his foot injury and could be starting light training again soon - great news for Cambodia and their SEA Games prospects for December. In the second game, Spark failed to ignite (sorry, but I couldn't resist it) and Post Tel grabbed only their 3rd win of the campaign, 1-nil. Durosinmi Gafar got the decider on 16 minutes. Their veteran defender Kun Kuon kept a tight shackle all afternoon on the CPL's most lethal marksman Prince Justine. The most noise in the stadium came from the drums and whistles that accompanied the Bokator championships being held under the main stand. There's both hand to hand combat as well as stick proficiency involved as far as I could make out but it wasn't immediately obvious as I only grabbed five minutes of viewing at the half-time interval.
Defense Ministry's opening scorer Phuong Soksana
Already relegated, Post Tel beat Spark 1-nil
Bokator seen from a birds' perspective - this is the group stick proficiency final



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