Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crown fail to make semifinals

Crown fail to make semifinals

Crown fail to make semifinals


Phnom Penh Crown staged a heroic comeback to draw Wednesday’s second leg 3-3 with Bangkok Glass, but went out of the Singapore Cup on aggregate

PP Crown bow out fighting

Phnom Penh Crown's bid to become the first Cambodian team to reach an international competition semifinal came to an end Wednesday, as the Cambodian champions drew their second-leg Singapore Cup match 3-3 with Bangkok Glass, to go out 5-4 on aggregate.

Crown gave a gallant effort at Singapore's Jalan Beshar stadium, coming back from two goals down after Glass netted twice in the first quarter of an hour.

The Thai Premier League (TPL) side once again fielded a second 11, keeping their first team in Thailand ahead of this weekend's top table clash with leaders Muang Thong United.

Glass assistant manager Supasit Leelarit took charge in Surachai Jaturapattarapong's absence and was happy to see his side take the early lead, with Chilean midfielder Nelson Arriagada opening the scoring inside 13 minutes.

Before Crown could realise what had hit them, Arriagada turned provider three minutes later as his inch-perfect pass found Nantawat Thaensopa, who wasted no time to power home from 30 yards out.

A three-goal aggregate deficit was an extremely tall order for the Phnom Penh club, and heads could have easily dropped. Crown's Thai-born head coach Apisit Im Amphai, who had deployed a 4-3-3 tactic to counter Glass's 3-5-2 approach, brought on Cameroonian Oscar Mpoko for Sun Sophanha, and the substitution quickly paid off as Crown won a penalty. Chan Rithy calmly dispatched, sending Glass keeper Naratip Panprom the wrong way.

Crown continued an admirable fightback and grabbed a well-deserved equaliser in the 32nd minute, after Tunji Ayoyinka caught Bangkok Glass right-back Wachira Sangsri dilly-dallying to steal possession on the left. The Nigerian forward raced down the wing to set up U19 Cambodian international Keo Sokngorn, who to capped off a fine run to bring the teams within one goal.

However, with eight minutes left in the half, Crown's efforts to put themselves back in contention were undone once again, as Arriagada set up Surachet Ngamtip's looping header that caught Peng Bunchay napping in goal.

Crown turned up the heat on the Thai team after the interval, with Glass content on holding onto to ball to see out the rest of the game.
With shared determination and persistence, the Cambodians drew level once again eleven minutes into the half. Marcel Modibo raced from the far post to slot home from close range off a Chan Rithy free kick from the right.

With the minutes ticking away towards elimination, Crown pushed their tiring legs to the limit with a patient passing game, in the hope of taking the game to extra time.

Ayoyinka came closest of all with six minutes to go, but saw his volley slice into the side netting. It was to be Crown's final chance as the Thai outfit held on to their slender aggregate lead to advance to a semifinal meeting with compatriots Samut Sakhon.

Makara blames pitch, lights
Phnom Penh team manager Makara Be claimed his team's failure to win their Singapore Cup quarterfinal second leg against Bangkok Glass Wednesday rested heavily on their inexperience of playing under floodlights on an artificial pitch, but said that his team had gained valuable experience for future international matches.

"We were sorry that we lost the chance to go further," Makara Be said moments after the team arrived from their trip to Singapore. "We played the game with the desire to go all out for the win for ourselves and the Cambodian people back home, who have very high expectations on us in this tournament."

"It took time to adjust [to the conditions], and also our fitness level is lower than our opponent," he confessed, adding that a lack of communication cost them early in the game.

However, the quarterfinal appearance was the furthest they had gone in the competition in four years of participation, with the draw in the second match sealing elimination after they lost 2-1 in the first leg.

"I think my team has improved tremendously, and that is the good thing," noted the Crown manager. "Next year, we will try to prepare harder, and I believe we can do much better."

"With the Singapore Cup out of our reach now, we hope to go on to win the Cambodian Premier League," he added.

Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea