Thursday, May 17, 2012
It's the morning after the night before...and it's a wet one. For the third day running I've woken up to a rainstorm and thunder in Singapore (which has disabled my plans for a walk to the coast). Which just about sums up our Phnom Penh Crown footy trip to the city state which ended in disappointment and defeat last night. We knew we faced a tough task against the Singapore champions, Tampines Rovers, who play in the next level up of AFC football, and so it proved but at the same time, we showed that club football in Cambodia shouldn't be under-estimated. We lost 4-3 but it was a topsy-turvy, roller-coaster type of game and after we pulled it back to 3-3 on the hour, anything looked possible. However, in a 42-year old striker from Bosnia by the name of Alexsandar Duric, Tampines have a living legend of Singaporean football in their ranks, and once again, as he's often done in his career, he proved the match winner. More than twice the age of his marker, he showed there's no substitute for experience, guile and know-how as he made a yard of space to whack home the match decider. It was gut-wrenching for the Crown team and coach David Booth, after their heroics to come back from 3-1 down at half-time. But it's all over now, we are out of the Singapore Cup at the 1st attempt and later this afternoon, we're back on the flight heading for Phnom Penh. The last I heard it was raining there too.