Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day of the underdog

Friday Nwakuna, the scorer of Naga's 2nd goal in their 2-nil success
Naga Corp manager Michael Thachnen was well pleased with his team's performance
It was a day for the underdog in the first stage of the Cambodian Premier League play-offs at the Olympic Stadium this afternoon. Phnom Penh Crown and Preah Khan Reach (PKR) have been swapping places at the top of the CPL throughout the regular season and must've fancied their chances of progressing through and meeting each other in the play-off final on the 26th. Instead the final will be between Naga Corp and Khemara Keila after the two unfancied teams caught their opponents cold and deserved their victories on the day. For Naga boss Michael Thachnen; "It was a great victory for us. We played to the plan we set out and on our day we can beat anyone," and so it proved as they swept aside the title favourites Phnom Penh with a goal in each half from two of their three Nigerian players, Sunday Okonkwo and Friday Nwakuna but it was a team effort that brought down the more-fancied Crown. Naga swamped midfield and took the game to their opponents, which unsettled Crown and proved to be their undoing. They never really recovered from Okonkwo's opener after ten minutes but will no doubt point to a disallowed Tieng Tiny effort that went in Naga's favour. They also lost Peng Panharong to a red card just before the interval. Nwakuna capped a fine display with a 2nd for Naga five minutes from the end that sparked off celebrations that were richly deserved. In the second game, Khemara's threadbare squad took the game to PKR and went in front two minutes before half-time when Sok Rithy turned a cross into his own net. It was nip and tuck in the 2nd half before Nelson Olatunde whacked in a killer blow seven minutes from time to give the final an unlikely but deserved line-up. Roll on the 26th of this month.
The Naga line-up that took the club to this year's CPL play-off final
Phnom Penh Crown simply didn't live up to the hype against Naga
The two teams enter the fray at Olympic Stadium today, Naga led by Om Thavrak
It's celebration time for Naga at the final whistle
Nelson Olatunde scored one and also claimed the first as well for Khemara
The successful Khemara Keila coach Ung Kan Yanith
Khemara Keila line up in the pouring rain before their play-off clash
Preah Khan Reach once again didn't live up to expectations
Celebrations for Khemara at the final whistle
The Khemara bench is a hive of activity and congratulations

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3 Comments:

Blogger 1994 said...

Andy,
How much do these guys get paid for playing? What is the minimum, average, and highest salary?

September 13, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

That's not public information 1994, so I can't divulge it. It certainly isn't a king's ransom and nowhere near what they would get paid in Vietnam or Thailand for example. They get a sum of cash, they get food and a place to stay and they get their visa's paid for, as far as I'm aware. The cash amount will be in the region of hundreds of US dollars per month.
But that's just what I've been told so I can't give you exact amounts.
Andy

September 13, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Rick Dubbeldam said...

I know the guys who played for Naga were (six months ago) taking I believe 3-400$ plus food and boarding, but they also had to 'work' a bit in the casino. The lower teams try to get away with just full board which the foreign players perceive as playing for free ... The last half year has seen competition for foreign placements explode, so it's not so difficult to pay less than what it once was ...
Rick

September 13, 2009 at 9:36 PM  

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