Hok Sochetra, celebrated Cambodia national team forward and now head coach at Metfone C-League newcomers Visakha, said he was unimpressed by the performance of his players in Sunday’s defeat to National Police Commissary.
“We were a failure today,” said coach Sochetra of the surprise 3-1 loss. “The biggest issue was we had to change up our lineup. Missing a few key areas like defence, we had to push some of our Koreans back instead of going forward with the ball. Secondly, the discipline of our players on the pitch was disappointing for us. There was no leadership on the field.
The coach, who guided Visakha to the top-flight in his breakthrough season last year, also blamed the state of the pitch at the AEU Sport Park.
“The pitch was also a factor today. But it doesn’t matter. They play, we play, but the psychologically they were stronger than us today. Their quality and their will to win was stronger than ours.”
National Police Commissary opened the scoring in the 22nd minute as Noun Borey got the better of Visakha keeper Keo Soksela to put his side ahead. Parity was restored for hard-working Visakha three minutes before half time as midfielder San Kimheng continued his purple patch with a fine equalizer in the 42nd.
In the second period, Police turned up the pressure and deservedly regained their lead as South Korean Noh Sangmin smashed home a 73rd minute strike. With Visakha flailing Tith Dina added a third and secured the points deep into stoppage time.
The result sees Visakha drop to fourth in the C-League standings while the win pushes Police up to third – and ahead of Visakha by virtue of goal difference.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Phnom Penh Crown struggled to get the better of lowly Asia Euro Unite at the RSN Stadium. A 1-1 draw was a disappointing outcome for coach Sean Sainsbury’s young side who lacked the attacking threat of injured duo Sunny Jane and Jorrin John.
A superb Momoh Degule Sumaila opener in the first-half put the visitors ahead before In Sodavid equalised with 11 minutes remaining.
Speaking after the match coach Sainsbury deflected criticism of his defenders.
“They [defenders] didn’t do much wrong. The only thing we didn’t do well is when they kicked the ball long we didn’t win enough headers, said the Englishman.
“First-half was a bit slow. We played well. They obviously dropped back and defended deep. We were a little bit slow in possession which is why we didn’t create enough good chances. We did hit the cross bar and their keeper made a couple of good saves.”
“Second-half we came out and played with a higher tempo and higher intensity which was more difficult for them. But we didn’t defend the set piece and when they were kicking the ball long it was causing us problems.”
The draw leaves Crown on sixth in the standings below Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on fifth. AEUsit eighth.
NagaWorld stay top after their Saturday win over Ministry of National Defense. They now have a two-point cushion over second-placed Boeung Ket who were unexpectedly held to a draw by Electricite du Cambodge.