FOR the second game running, a Phnom Penh Crown player was sent off for a second bookable offence, putting the team amongst the league's bad boys. Referee Sreng Haoudy showed Crown defender Lor Pichseila his second yellow card Wednesday for bundling over Khemara's Kuoch Sokumpheak during their midweek game, a decision that left manager Makara Be fuming.
The Crown boss was seen confronting match officials as they walked off the pitch for halftime, and in his postmatch reaction condemned the referee's decision outright.
"The referee got it all wrong once again by sending my player off when it was clear that both players were running shoulder to shoulder," Makara Be asserted. "The Khemara player [Kuoch Sokumpheak] tried to get in front of my player [Lor Pichseila], and tripped up.... That was a stupid decision [by the ref] to make, which nearly cost us this game."
Khemara Keila manager Los Salakhan conversely suggested that the referee allowed Crown players to get away with some obvious infringements. "The referee allowed the [Crown] players to bully my players ... which affected our rhythm," he stated. "We missed the chance to go top, which is regrettable."
Meanwhile, FFC appointed referee instructor Tetsu Karakida of Japan said the decision by Sreng Haoudy was fair. "In my opinion, the referee was spot-on in his decision to send the player off," he said. "There was intent to stop the Khemara player."
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)