Crown crowned Champions
Phnom Penh Crown 1 Nagaworld 3 [after extra time. PPCFC won 3-2 on penalties] (Metfone C-League Championship Final 2nd leg).Phnom Penh Crown made heavy weather of winning their second consecutive Metfone Championship, having brought a 2-0 1st leg win to the main event, but held their nerve in the penalty shoot-out with teenage goalkeeper Keo Soksela showing maturity beyond his years. The game began with Crown edging the first-half with Va Sokthorn going close on a couple of occasions, Shane Booysen toe-poking an effort wide of the mark, whilst Nhim Sovannara headed a corner against the upright for Naga. Nine minutes after the half-time break and Naga took the lead when In Sodavid’s backpass allowed Kouch Sokumpheak to challenge Soksela and the loose ball was buried by Sun Sovannrithy. Sokthorn and Booysen were denied by Samrith Seiha at the other end but a handball against Sovannrithy from Sodavid’s blast gave Bin Thierry the leveller from the penalty spot on 73 minutes. Just 4 minutes later Sokumpheak steered in Prak Chanratana’s headed cross to return the lead to Naga. Crown were struggling to find their rhythm and Leng Makara stopped a drive on the goal-line with his body before final minute heartbreak as Yongsun Baek was adjudged to have handled a shot and Sokumpheak stepped up in injury time to rifle the ball home from the spot. That made it 3-1 to Naga and 3-3 on aggregate.
Extra time of thirty minutes was without incident of note until Barry Lelouma’s floated free-kick missed everyone and bounced just clear of the cross-bar. Crown’s best chance came on 114 minutes as Baek powerfully headed Sokthorn’s free-kick onto the bar and the referee waved aways appeals that the ball had bounced behind the line. Onto penalty kicks to decide who would be the champions. Soksela saved Naga’s opening spot-kick from Fukasawa and then Thierry planted in his effort. Kazuaki Ban scored but Sokthorn missed the target, only for Sokumpheak to score. Kok Boris scored with ease, but ex-PPC Khim Borey found Soksela’s feet hard to beat, as did Odion Obadin, who was stopped by Seiha. Another glorious Soksela save denied Lelouma and up-stepped Baek to settle the Championship with a well-struck spot-kick to make it 3-2. Cue the celebrations on the pitch and among the massed ranks of Crown fans at the stadium
Labels: Phnom Penh Crown