Sunday, May 24, 2015

Two reverses in a morning

PPCFC Academy U-15s, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Chanmony, Sovannaroth, Savey, Safy (capt). Front Row: Chetra, Samel, Pisoth, Piseth, Rina, N David - click to enlarge
Sunday 24 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 0 FFC Academy 1 (U-15 Youth League).
In this morning's U-15 Youth league game at Western Stadium, the FFC recorded their first victory over Crown after ten straight defeats. The goal arrived on 33 minutes after Crown were punished for giving away possession. Former PPCFC keeper Kung Rafat kept Tong Chanmony and Mao Piseth at bay, before Piseth weaved his way past two defenders but flashed his shot across the face of the goal. Svang Samnang was down quickly to make a smart stop but had little chance with the goal just before the break. Moments later, Piseth broke clear but his cheeky lob over Rafat came back off the upright. In a stop-start second-half Piseth was again in the thick of the action but was denied with a curling free-kick, Chanmony's long range effort was pushed out and in the final minute, Piseth was deprived twice of a deserved equaliser, as FFC recorded a rare success.
Match report to follow.
PPCFC Academy vs Naga, back row, LtoR: Sovann, Sodavid, Senteang, Titchhy, Umaru, Samnang. Front Row: Muslim, Soksela, Chanchav, Baraing, Noeut - click to enlarge
Sunday 24 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown Academy 0 Nagaworld 2 (Friendly)
In this morning's practice match at RSN, Crown threatened twice early on through Ouk Sovann, but he blasted his first drive over the bar and then sent a 25 yard free-kick inches wide of the target. Barry Lelouma rose to head Naga in front on 11 minutes and the visitors saw out the first half in control of the ball, with Keo Soksela making one excellent fingertip save in the home goal. The second half was even less inspiring though Umaru Samura sent a great opportunity past the upright, before Naga made the game safe on 90 minutes when Chhim Sambo headed in from a corner. A Sovann effort was blocked at the end as the Academy suffered their third loss to Nagaworld in as many games.
Match report to follow.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rotin on song

PPCFC vs BBU, back row, LtoR: C Pisa, Obadin, Thierry, Sokheng, Ursaphea, Matnorotin. Front Row: Boran, Tola, Booysen, Suleiman, Koroma - click to enlarge
Saturday 23 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown 4 BBU 2 (Friendly).
Not one of Crown's better performances but they were too strong for BBU and after leading 3-nil at the break, ran out 4-2 victors at RSN this afternoon. Sary Matnorotin netted twice on 9 minutes, finishing off a Santie Koroma pass at the 2nd attempt, and again on 36 minutes. His second goal was a neat first-time finish inside the post following more excellent work from Koroma, who celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday. Sandwiched in between was a well-struck penalty kick by Bin Thierry, on 15 minutes after Shane Booysen had been hauled down by keeper Sos Proshim, as he followed up a Matnorotin shot that was saved. Two goals in six minutes, on 62 and 67 minutes, gave BBU a sniff of a result that was extinguished as Booysen raced onto Matnorotin's pass, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball home on 71 minutes. Game over.
Full match report to follow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shoe-horning into 3 months

Sabay have today announced that the Metfone C-League, which was postponed by the FFC until 1 July, will now cram all of its games into a 15-week window between 1 July and 11 October. With the re-introduction of the dreaded play-offs (they used the more genuine first past the post last season), that means all 22 league games for each club will be shoe-horned into twelve weeks of competition (necessitating both weekend and midweek matches for all, every week) and the play-offs will be held in a 3-week period to round it all off. There will be home & away for some clubs, the others without their own stadiums, will play all their matches on the new artificial surface at the Olympic Stadium. The 12-team league is being continued with CMAC likely to fill the slot vacated by Albirex's closure. The reason for this ultra-short 3-month season is that the Federation wish to hold some end of year tournaments, according to Sabay. Oh, and another spanner in the works is the World Cup. During this shortest-ever season on record, will be 3 World Cup matches; in early September Cambodia will play Japan and Syria and immediately after the play-off final, they meet Singapore. So there will be a club-v-country conundrum if top players are taken away from their clubs for training camps and forced to miss league matches. And just to add another spanner, the AFC Cup qualifiers will be held in August and Cambodia will have 1 team in that. With such a schedule, that won't allow any player time to recover from injuries or fatigue. A punishing program in anyone's book. On the bright side, for the fans there will be an abundance of football over the next few months, with many of the games being televised too.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Two more games, two more wins

PPCFC Academy vs C/Tiger, back row, LtoR: Sovann, Sodavid, Soksela, Chanpolin, Titchhy, Thomas. Front: Muslim, Piphop, Suleiman, Ponvuthy, Baraing - click to enlarge
Sunday 17 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown Academy 3 Cambodian Tiger 2 (Friendly).
The senior Academy line-up were too strong for Cambodian Tiger in this afternoon's friendly at RSN. A well-flighted trademark Ouk Sovann free-kick punished the visitors on 10 minutes and Suleiman Samura was all alone to head in Sraing Titchhy's deep free-kick after 29 minutes. Academy keeper Keo Soksela got a hand to Chan Rithy's penalty to divert it onto the crossbar, but the Tigers got a second spot-kick when Pov Ponvuthy handled and Neou Sosela rolled in the penalty two minutes before the interval. Kim Chhaya put Crown further ahead on 55 minutes, toe-poking home Sovann's pass before Sosela netted on the run six minutes later to give the game its final score of 3-2 to Crown.
Match report to follow.
PPCFC U-15s vs Navy, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Sovannaroth, Davann, Savey, Panha, N David (capt). Front: Punlork, Rina, Piseth, S David, Kakada - click to enlarge
Sunday 17 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 5 Navy 0 (U-15 Youth League).
The young Academy team recorded their second consecutive 5-0 victory in this morning's Youth League match on the all-weather Western pitch. Mao Piseth opened the scoring with a neat finish on 3 minutes, but they had to wait until a minute before the break when Sin Kakada's left wing cross-shot sailed into the top corner. Crown continued to dominate the game after the break and within three minutes, Chriv Sokundavann lobbed the goalkeeper from 25 yards for number 3. Tong Chanmony's accurate corner was headed powerfully in by Chea Savey on 46 minutes and chances went begging before Mit Samel latched onto Chanmony's pass and scored with the final kick of the game.
Match report to follow.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Practice reversal

PPCFC vs B/Ket, back row, LtoR: Sokheng, Charly, S Pisa, Makara, C Pisa, Ary. Front Row: Da, Matnorotin, Tola, Booysen, Koroma - click to enlarge
Saturday 16 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown 0 Boeung Ket 2 (Friendly).
Crown left their goalscoring boots in the dressing room today as they squandered a handful of chances to have won this match and allowed the visitors to score twice in five minutes at this end of this pre-season practice match at RSN Stadium. Um Tola and Santi Koroma had great first-half opportunities but failed to score, while Boeung Ket blasted a penalty over the cross-bar. After the break, Crown continued to pull the strings with Sary Matnorotin twice and Tola presented with chances which they didn't convert. Crown made six changes midway through the second half and Boeung Ket took advantage a minute later when Sok Pheng scored with their first shot on target on 77 minutes. A long ball over the top and Pheng netted his second five minutes later. Both Rafael Oliveira and Suleiman Samura went close for the home side but there was no change to the scoreline.
Match report to follow.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Yet another Academy double

PPCFC U-18s, back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Senteang, Sodavid, Thomas, Soksela, Sovann. Front Row: Chanchav, Chansopheak, Rozak, Muslim, Phearath - click to enlarge
Sunday 10 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-18s 5 Svay Rieng U-19s 3 (Result).
Another exciting friendly at RSN Stadium this morning as the Crown Academy proved too strong for rivals Svay Rieng. It was end-to-end for the first-half with Yeu Muslim scoring on 9 minutes, only for SVR to level on 20 minutes. The visitors took the lead with six minutes of the half left to play before Chhuot Senteang latched onto a Jason Thomas clearance and walked the ball in on 42 minutes. Within a minute Ouk Sovann lashed home to put Crown ahead but with the final kick of the half, SVR equalised to make it 3-3 at the break. Crown controlled the game in the second-half with Sovann adding a second on 58 minutes and Muslim made sure with his 2nd goal, with ten minutes to go from Seut Baraing's pinpoint pass. As usual the two teams didn't disappoint the watching fans.
Full match report to follow. 
PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Chanmony, Davann, Chetra, Savey, Sovannaroth, Samnang. Front: Kakada, Pisoth, Rina, S David, Punlork - click to enlarge
Sunday 10 May 2015: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 7 Chraing Chamres 1 (Friendly).
Played in very hot conditions at RSN, it was the visitors who grabbed the lead on 37 minutes and held it until half-time. It was a very different story after the interval as Crown stepped up their game and Tong Chanmony blasted in an equaliser from 25-yards out on 53 minutes. A goalkeeping fumble gave a gift to Mao Piseth on 70 minutes and two goals in as many minutes from Mat Samel and Sok Panha put Crown firmly in control. Piseth headed his second on 84 minutes, outjumping the goalkeeper, and Seut Baraing netted with a powerful header on 90 minutes. Chanmony wrapped it up in injury time with an unstoppable drive that arrowed into the net.
Full match report to follow.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Crown hit 9

 PPCFC, back row, LtoR: C Pisa, Charly, Ursaphea, Obadin, Booysen, Bisan. Front Row: S Pisa, Da, Sokheng, Tola, Koroma - click to enlarge
Saturday 9 May 2014: Phnom Penh Crown 9 Army 2 (Friendly).
Scoring 7 goals without reply by the halftime break had seen Crown dominate the match from the kick-off, though the second-half saw another four goals, two by each team, to give a final scoreline at RSN of 9-2. Both teams were without their national team players but it was Crown who demonstrated greater strength in their squad and were quickly into their stride with Odion Obadin powering home a header from Shane Booysen's corner in the 4th minute. Another header from a Booysen corner, this time by Santi Koroma made it 2-nil on 13 minutes. Booysen himself added the next on 17 minutes before Um Tola poked the ball home on 23 minutes. Two goals in a minute by George Bisan and Booysen gave Crown a clear advantage and Bisan collected his second a minute before the break. 40 seconds after the restart and Booysen scored his hat-trick, with a tap-in and he rolled in another, just after the hour to make it a personal tally of 4 goals. Army netted twice, on 56 and 89 minutes, but were a well-beaten team on the day.
Match report to follow.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Naga keeper keeps them in it

PPCFC vs Naga, back row, LtoR: Makara, C Pisa, Kim, Bisan, Obadin, Ary. Front: Matnorotin, S Pisa, Suleiman, Booysen, Koroma - click to enlarge
Saturday 2 May 2014: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Nagaworld 1 (Friendly).
A 1-1 draw was the final result of this afternoon's friendly at RSN though Naga have their goalkeepers to thank for a series of outstanding saves to deny Crown a victory. It was Naga who took the lead when Barry Lelouma poked home from a corner on 19 minutes though Sary Matnorotin and Shane Booysen will wonder how they didn't score in the first of three 30-minute periods. George Bisan levelled the score with a thunderbolt of a strike from 20 yards after Booysen latched onto Jeongho Kim's pass and set up his teammate with 53 minutes on the clock. Booysen was again denied and so was Bisan and then Santi Koroma as Crown created the chances but failed to find the back of the net.
Match report to follow.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Crown best Civil Aviation

PPCFC U-15s vs SSCA: Back Row LtoR: N David, Panha, Davann, Safy, Sovannaroth, Samnang. Front: Punlork, Pisoth, Piseth, Rina, Kakada - click to enlarge
Saturday 25 April 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 2 SSCA U-17s 1 (Friendly).
For a match they controlled from the start, the Academy U-15s had some nervy moments at the end of this friendly at RSN against the older U-17 SSCA (Civil Aviation) side after they were reduced to ten men. Completely dominant in the first-half, Sin Kakada had a free-kick scrambled away, he then blasted over the bar when it looked easier to score and then set up Mao Piseth, whose run and shot down the middle was blocked. Kakada then opened the scoring with a composed finish from Nop David's through ball on 18 minutes. Piseth and Sok Panha with a header were foiled by the visiting keeper before Kie Rina whacked a shot against the cross-bar and then had a weak shot cleared off the goal-line. Kakada and Piseth went close again before another David pass gave Piseth the opportunity to score his team's second on 35 minutes, with a typically neat finish. Kakada had the last chance of a hectic first period when he beat two players but failed to find a strong enough finish. It had been one-way traffic up to this point. With half a dozen substitutions for the home team disrupting the flow of the game, the second period was uneven and with sixteen minutes left on the clock, Piseth saw red for an out-of-character kick on an opponent. He had been on the pitch for a minute after he returned to replace Kakada. SSCA got back into the game from a free-kick, which hit the inside of the upright and crossed the line on 80 minutes. Crown keeper Svang Samnang swapped his gloves and twice went close to scoring late on, though it still needed a good save from his replacement in goal, Choi Laiheang to keep Civil Aviation from equalizing late on.
PPCFC U-15s: Samnang (Laiheang 77), Panha (Samnang 82), Davann (Savey 53), Safy, Sovannaroth, Punlork (Chetra 53), Rina (S David 53), N David (Sok Thearoth 68), Pisoth (Yim Makara 68), Kakada (Piseth 79), Piseth (Chanmony 41). Bookings: Chanmony, Piseth (*red card). Goals: Kakada (18), Piseth (35).

Saturday, April 25, 2015

In-house friendly - 16 goals

PPCFC A, back row, LtoR: Sokthorn, S Pisa, Kim, Bisan, Ary, Boris. Front: Sothy, Boran, Makara, Booysen, Koroma. click to enlarge
With the non-appearance of AEU for today's RSN friendly, Phnom Penh Crown played an internal practice match, which resulted in the first-choice line-up winning 13-3. Getting on the scoresheet were Shane Booysen 3, Santi Koroma 3, George Bisan 2, Va Sokthorn 2, Pov Ponvuthy 2 and Yok Ary. George Bisan switched sides at the break and scored two more for the B-team, to add to one from Rafael Oliveira (pen).
More from the match later.
PPCFC B, back row, LtoR: C Pisa, Sokheng, Charly, Polo, Srey. Front: Da, Piphop, Tola, Phearath, Rozak, Oliveira - click to enlarge

Friday, April 24, 2015

Naga win at RSN

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Thomas, Sovann, Soksela, Samnang, Titchhy, Suleiman. Front: Chanpolin, Ponvuthy, Chhaya, Noeut, Baraing - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 1 NagaWorld 3 (Friendly).
In this afternoon's practice match at RSN, both sides had chances with Ouk Sovann having Crown's best, before Naga took the lead through Chhim Sambo on 24 minutes when the visitors made the U-17s pay for giving the ball away. Sovann was denied a second time before a Sun Sopanha free-kick somehow found its way into the net on 31 minutes and Naga led two-nil at the break. The Academy brightened up their act after the break and Sovann put in one of his trademark free-kicks only to see it tipped over at the last moment. Naga struck the cross-bar but it was the U-17s who scored next, with 15 minutes remaining as Sok Rithy fouled In Sodavid and Orn Chanpolin netted confidently from the penalty spot. The Academy went in search of an equaliser but Naga wrapped it up when Khim Borey sneaked a header into the far corner with five minutes to go.
Match Report to follow.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ten and out

PPCFC U-17s, ack row, LtoR: Chanvuthy, Sakrovy, Thomas, Samnang, Chanchav, Phearath. Front: Muslim, Piphop, Chansopheak, Ponvuthy, Rozak - click to enlarge
Sunday 19 April 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 10 Next Step (Siem Reap) 1 (Friendly).
It took 45 minutes for the Academy U-17s to shake the lethargy out of their boots, during which time the Siem Reap-based Next Step FC had taken the lead on 24 minutes, in the first of three 30-minute halves. The visiting goalkeeper was kept busy and did well to keep out Crown until a flurry of substitutions kick-started the Academy's intensity and In Sodavid levelled the scores on 47 minutes. More goals followed with Suleiman Samura (49), Ouk Sovann (56) and an Orn Chanpolin penalty (59) making it 4-1 at the second break. Now in a dominant mood, the Academy piled on the pressure in search of more goals and they quickly came. Kim Chhaya forced an own goal (65) and Suleiman scored his second (82). Sovann (85) and Chanpolin (85) netted before Suleiman grabbed his hat-trick on 90 minutes and then struck a fourth four minutes into stoppage time to make it a rout.
Match report to follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cambodia's World Cup schedule

The Asian section of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 2nd Round draw was made today and placed Cambodia (after their 1st Round success over Macau) in the same group as Japan, Syria, Afghanistan and Singapore. The countries will play home & away games (8 matches each) to determine who will progress to the 3rd Round as well as the Asian Cup.
Cambodia's matches will take place as follows:
11 Jun: Cambodia vs Singapore
16 Jun: Cambodia vs Afghanistan
3 Sep: Japan vs Cambodia
8 Sep: Cambodia vs Syria
13 Oct: Singapore vs Cambodia
12 Nov: Afghanistan vs Cambodia
17 Nov: Cambodia vs Japan
24 Mar 16: Syria vs Cambodia.

Note: It looks like Cambodia will travel to Jordan to play the away game with Syria, as they do not play their 'home' matches in Syria because of the on-going conflict there. And Afghanistan are likely to play their 'home' matches in Tajikistan.

Phnom Penh Crown's influential midfielder Bin Thierry gave his views after he heard the FIFA World Cup draw had paired the Cambodia national team against Japan, Syria, Afghanistan and Singapore in their 2nd Round group. Thierry, who is currently on holiday in Canada, had this to say: "I just woke up and saw the draw and it's a wonderful opportunity for Cambodia, the players and of course, the fans. This will be a fantastic experience. For sure, our group is very hard but we will give our very best in every game. What we will need is for everyone in Cambodia to support and cheer for us in each match. I can't wait for the games to begin."

Friday, April 10, 2015

Best of Cambodia's youth

PPCFC U-17s vs Cambodia U-23s, back row, LtoR: Sovann, Chanpolin, Chhaya. Titchhy, Thomas, Soksela. Front Row: Suleiman, Baraing, Sodavid, Chansopheak, Piphop - click to enlarge
Friday 10 April 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 1 Cambodia U-23s 1 (Friendly).
A really good work-out for the best of Cambodia's younger players ended in a deserved draw as the Crown U-17s held their more illustrious opponents on the Western artificial grass pitch. The U-23s held the upper hand in the first-half, moving the ball quickly and two last-ditch tackles by Sraing Titchhy and Jason Thomas snuffed out real danger. Seut Baraing cleared a Moung Makara header off the line before a hint of offside clouded the opening goal, as Nob Tola poked in from Phoung Soksana's pass on 35 minutes to put the U-23s ahead. Just before the break Ouk Sovann blasted the U-17s best chance over the cross-bar.
The second-half was a different story with the U-17s looking for an equaliser, but watched in agony as In Sodavid's effort rebounded off the upright. Prak Mony Udom was the U-23s main threat, but he was snuffed out by an excellent display by Thomas, as Crown's attacking play came to the fore. With a little more composure Mat Sakrovy and Chhuot Senteang should've scored when presented with good opportunities. The deserved equaliser came with five minutes to go as Suleiman Samura won yet another tackle in midfield and as U-23 keeper Prak Mony Phirun fumbled his pass, Senteang stole in and walked the ball into an empty net. The U-17s pressed for a winner but both Suleiman and Pov Ponvuthy's efforts were held by Phirun. Game over, and a 1-1 draw.

Full match report to follow.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Academy victories

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Umaru, Sovann, Chhaya, Chanpolin, Titchhy, Chanvuthy. Front: Suleiman, Sodavid, Samnang, Noeut, Baraing - click to enlarge
Saturday 28 March: Result: PPCFC Academy U-17s 3 Asia Europe Univ 1 (Friendly).
The Academy U-17s dominated large parts of this friendly at RSN and deserved their 3-1 success against the C-League team. Crown took the lead on 26 minutes when Seut Baraing's low cross was headed past his own keeper by a defender. On the stroke of half-time Ouk Sovann set up In Sodavid and he calmly rolled the ball in for number 2. Sodavid scored his second 7 minutes after the break with a good finish, again set up by Sovann. AEU netted but were never in the game.
Match report to follow.
PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Chanmony, Samnang, Chetra, Savey, Sovannaroth, Safy. Front: N David, Rabert, Pisoth, Rina, Davann - click to enlarge
Sunday 29 March: Result: PPCFC Academy U-15s 5 Khmer Olympic 0 (Friendly).
The 1st half of this friendly at RSN was devoid of much action but the 2nd half more than made up for it. The Academy dominated the whole 45 minutes and once they introduced Mao Piseth on the hour it all went in their favour. Within a minute he opened the scoring and went onto score three more goals on 72, 83 and 86 minutes, the last a perfect looping header from Sin Kakada's cross. As the Academy peppered the Olympic goal with a stream of shots, Kakada made the final one count a minute into injury time to end the game at 5-0.

Match report to follow.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

All-square

PPCFC vs All Stars, back row, LtoR: Thierry, Kochi, Sokthorn, Kim, Bisan, Obadin. Front: Sokheng, Sothy, Da, Boran, Suhana - click to enlarge
Saturday 28 March 2015: Result: PPCFC 1 African/Eselemo Diamond All Stars 1 (Friendly).
In another of those no-quarter-given type encounters at RSN training pitch this afternoon, the spoils were shared. George Bisan gave PPCFC the lead when he latched onto an Odion Obadin pass, rounded the stranded keeper and fired Crown ahead on 25 minutes. A minute later the striker's fine effort struck the outside of the post. On 33 minutes the African All Stars were awarded a dubious penalty for high foot against Bisan but Obi Ugochukwu blasted the spot kick high and wide. Bisan went close a couple of times in the second half and so did Bin Thierry, before Dzarma Bata drilled a 25-yard shot into the top corner for the equaliser on 78 minutes. In time added on, substitute Kouch Dani's 30-yard free-kick was punched clear and the team's ended the match all-square.
Match report to follow.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yet another double win

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Chanvuthy, Sovann, Sakrovy, Sodavid, Titchhy, Chanpolin. Front: Muslim, Senteang, Samnang, Noeut, Baraing - click to enlarge
Saturday 21 March: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 11 Bayon Wanderers 4 (Friendly).
The Academy U-17s punished Bayon for the audacity of tying the game at 4-4 fifteen minutes into the second-half, by storming away and knocking in 11 goals, which saw Bayon throw in the towel with eight minutes still remaining. Yeu Muslim netted 4 goals, Ouk Sovann 3, Mat Sakrovy 2 and 1 each for Chhuot Senteang and Umaru Samura.
Match Report to follow.
PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Chanmony, Panha, Safy, Chetra, Savey, Samnang. Front: Samel, Piseth, Pisoth, Rina, Davann - click to enlarge

Sunday 22 March: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 6 Pisnoka FC 4 (Friendly).
An entertaining match with Pisnoka at RSN Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Mao Piseth and Tong Chanmony gave the U-15s the lead only for Pisnoka to level with two goals in as many minutes. Sin Kakada put Crown in front just before the half-time break. On the restart Chanmony put them further ahead only for Pisnoka to score again, before Chanmony completed his hat-trick. The visitors never gave up and scored a fourth but the Academy were always in control and Piseth completed the scoring just before the end.
Match Report to follow.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sokthorn levels it

PPCFC vs Boeungket, back row, LtoR: Sokthorn, Bisan, Thierry, Kim, Obadin, Ary. Front: Da, Sokheng, Koroma, Sothy, Booysen - click to enlarge
Saturday 21 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Boeungket 1 (Friendly).
For this friendly clash of the top two teams in the country at RSN Stadium, both sides were without some of their regular starters with Crown missing Kok Boris, Sos Suhana, Ngoy Srin and Sary Matnorotin, but in their absence the two teams offered up an entertaining game in front of a good-sized crowd. In the opening fifteen minutes, Khuon Laboravy sent a free-kick a few feet wide and Paul Omogba blasted a shot well over the crossbar, while Ouk Sothy had a long range effort easily gathered by Kim Makara in the Boeungket goal. The keeper then had to be at his best on 18 minutes as Shane Booysen let rip from nearly 40 yards with a sublime effort which the stopper fingertipped over the bar. Moments later George Bisan looked to have got past Makara but slipped at the crucial moment and the chance went begging. The visitors took the lead on 22 minutes when Laboravy knocked the ball back to Yemi Oyewole on the edge of the penalty area and he arrowed the ball into the top corner. Laboravy also went close when he was played in from a quickly-taken free-kick, but sent his shot wide of the target. From a Booysen cross, Va Sokthorn's far post half-volley was blocked and Bisan's follow-up shot was grabbed low down by Makara. As the play switched from end to end, Ary punched away a free-kick which Keo Sokpheng then returned high and wide, and the keeper was out smartish to take the ball off the toe of Omogba as Boeungket broke quickly. Booysen's deliveries were causing problems and another whipped cross was just inches away from Bisan, with Ouk Sothy's blast blocked on its way to goal. A 30-yard free-kick from Booysen then shaved the top of the crossbar. Ary was alert and saved well to his right as Chhun Sothearath sent in a low drive through a crowd of players, with the keeper again in the right place to push away Sokpheng's far post effort. The half ended with a move that cut Boeungket to pieces but saw Booysen send his final shot across the face of goal and just past the far post.

After the resumption, Crown kept their foot on the pedal and dominated the whole of the second-half. Santigie Koroma fed Bin Thierry and his rasping 30-yard half-volley stunned everyone but bounced back into play off the crossbar. Booysen and Koroma combined to feed Sokthorn through the middle but Peng Bunchhay was out in time to smother the attempt. Another Booysen goal-bound blast was blocked and Sothy's follow-up was held easily. Oyewole missed a sitter with what proved to be Boeungket's only chance of the half, and seconds later Thierry's inch-perfect pass sent in Leng Makara but he fired straight at the oncoming Bunchhay. Bisan blasted over after more good combination work between Booysen and Makara, and the two worked another opening, only for Booysen's effort to be held by the keeper. Bisan sent another effort over the top from Makara's pass, before Crown got the goal that their efforts fully deserved. With six minutes left on the clock, Thierry fed his national teammate Sokthorn on the edge of the box, he turned and sent a low drive in off the foot of the far post, to make it 1-1. Crown went in search of the match-winner and Sokthorn played in Booysen on the left flank but his vicious drive went the wrong side of the upright. With almost the final kick of the game, Thierry's perfect pass found Booysen at the far post but his volley was again blocked on its way to goal, and both teams settled for a share of the spoils from this entertaining encounter.
PPCFC vs BKet: Ary (Kochi 66), Sokheng (C Pisa 74), Da (Chetra 88), Kim, Obadin, Sothy, Thierry, Sokthorn, Koroma (Makara 66), Booysen, Bisan (S Pisa 79). Subs not used: Srey, Ursaphea, Charly, Tola, Sumaila, Yapo. Booked: Bisan. MOTM: Booysen. Goal: Sokthorn (84).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shane signs on at Crown

Shane Booysen signs on the dotted line with Sam Schweingruber
The lightning quick feet and outstanding ball control of South African-born Shane Booysen are expected to be a prominent feature for PPCFC in the 2015 Metfone C-League competition after the 26-year-old signed a 1-year contract with the club. Booysen, after a year playing in Thailand, arrived on trial in February, scored two goals in his first friendly match against BBU and has impressed everyone who has seen him play. Crown Head coach Sam Schweingruber was happy to see Booysen put pen to paper: “We are delighted Shane has signed with us, he was our target player to get on board. He is both experienced and talented and his outstanding technique has in the past weeks excited teammates, staff and fans. We are looking forward to Shane’s contribution to defend the title.”
Booysen was born in Cape Town, the second-largest city in South Africa and began playing football at Ajax Cape Town as a ten-year-old. Four years later he joined the full-time Hellenic FC Academy, one of the best in the country, for three years and appeared for the Western Province U-17s. In his mid-teens he moved to the country’s most successful club Mamelodi Sundowns and played for their reserves for two years before spells at Gleneden United, back to Ajax Cape Town and a loan stint in the National First Division with Ikapa Sporting. In March of last year (2014), Booysen took the decision to pursue his career goals abroad, moved to Thailand and played regularly for Rbac Mittraphap and Bangkok Christian College-Tero in the Thai Regional League Division 2 before joining Crown in February.
Booysen looks set to become a fans favourite, having already impressed in a handful of friendly matches. He was delighted to sign for Crown: “I feel honoured to join the league champions of Cambodia. We are a good team and I know we will work well together. The players and staff are like a family and they have welcomed me since day 1. I will do my best for the team, my coach and the fans. I’m really excited for the season ahead, I can’t wait for us to progress together and I know we will defend our title”.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Thierry's triumph

Bin Thierry's arrival in Cambodia in Oct 2012, with Sam Schweingruber
Bin Thierry will remember today for a very long time, after he scored a wonderful free-kick goal against Macau on his FIFA World Cup debut, as Cambodia drew 1-1 in Macau to progress to the second qualifying round for the first time ever. Cambodia led 3-0 after last week's home leg and progress 4-1 on aggregate. In the next qualifying round they will play eight matches in a group competition. Thierry always said he wanted to represent the country of his parents' birth and his goal and the team's success will give him a lot of satisfaction. FLASHBACK: When Thierry arrived in Cambodia in October 2012 and met with Phnom Penh Crown coach Sam Schweingruber at the airport, his intention was clear, to win the C-League with Crown and to play for his country. He will now have to re-write his football ambitions, having captured the league crown last year, and scored for his country in the World Cup. Well done to Thierry, well done to Va Sokthorn, Sos Suhana and Ngoy Srin, the three other Crown players who all started the match in Macau, and well done to the Cambodia national team on getting through to the second round for the first time.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Another lesson handed out

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Chanmony, Chetra, Davann, N David, Safy, Samnang. Front: Kakada, Rina, Piseth, Pisoth, Panha - click to enlarge
Sunday 15 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 5 Chamkarmon 1 (Friendly).
The Academy U-15s swept to another victory at RSN this afternoon against the adult Chamkarmon team. Mao Piseth gave the U-15s a two-goal lead by halftime with goals on 20 and 43 minutes. The visitors scored 3 minutes after the break and Svang Samnang made two outstanding saves before the introduction of Ouk Sovann and Yeu Muslim returned control to Crown and the converted central defender netted two more goals on 66 and 85 minutes before Sok Panha rounded it off with a free-kick which the keeper juggled over the goal-line five minutes into added-on time.
More match details later.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Seniors win, just

PPCFC 1st Team, back row, LtoR: Bisan, Makara, Boris, S Pisa, Obadin, Ary. Front: Da, Boran, Santigie, Booysen, Sothy - click to enlarge
Saturday 14 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown 6 PPCFC Academy U-17s 4 (Friendly).
A great advertisement for football at RSN Stadium this afternoon saw the Crown 1st Team fend off the challenge of the Academy youngsters to win 6-4. It was a close game throughout though the seniors got themselves 3-1 in front by halftime with George Bisan netting a hat-trick with goals on 21, 31 and 45 minutes. Kim Chhaya grabbed a goal back on 39 minutes. Within 10 minutes of the restart the Academy were on level terms with goals from In Sodavid and Orn Chanpolin, but Santigie Koroma raced clear to put the seniors ahead on 61 minutes. Two goals in two minutes, saw Leng Makara and Shane Booysen put the 1st Team further in front with 11 minutes left, only for the Academy's Chhuot Senteang to hit a spectacular volley to make the final score 6-4. A fabulous game.
Match details to follow.
Academy U-17s, back row, LtoR; Umaru, Chanpolin, Soksela, Chhaya, Titchhy, V Samnang. Front: Sodavid, Chansopheak, Suleiman, Phearath, Rozak - click to enlarge

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fighting spirit

PPCFC U-17s vs Naga, back row, LtoR: Umaru, Chanchav, Chhaya, Sakrovy, Soksela, V Samnang (capt). Front: Sovann, Rozak, Chansopheak, Suleiman, Phearath - click to enlarge
Sunday 8 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 1 Nagaworld 3 (Friendly).
In a thrilling encounter, the Academy U-17s showed their fighting spirit against a strong Naga line-up at RSN Stadium and can count themselves unfortunate not to get a positive result. Naga struck on 10 minutes, though Ouk Sovann went close twice before the break. In the second of three 30-minute periods, the Academy had Naga on the back foot with Sovann, Chhuot Senteang and Choun Chanchav unable to score. Debutant Umaru Samura was twice denied by good saves before Naga netted a fortunate second goal on 68 minutes. Crown's Orn Chanpolin's quick thinking put in Senteang who finished well to reduce the arrears two minutes later before they were finally undone by a breakaway goal on 78 minutes by Naga's Barry Lelouma. Stand-out performer for the Academy was debutant Suleiman Samura, with his tough tackling and distribution.

Match report to follow.
PPCFC U-15s vs FFC, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Savey, Safy, Panha, N David, Sovannaroth. Front: Pisoth, Piseth, Samel, Davann, Kakada - click to enlarge

Sunday 8 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 3 FFC Academy 0 (Friendly).
It was business as usual for the Crown U-15s as they recorded their 10th consecutive victory over the FFC Academy at Tonle Bati this morning. Mao Piseth grabbed all three goals, his first coming on 11 minutes with a gorgeous curling free-kick over the defensive wall. After the break, PPCFC stepped up the pace and dominated much of the play. 7 minutes into the 2nd half and Piseth netted his second after a neat one-two with Pich Sovannaroth and he calmly rolled the ball under the advancing goalkeeper. Piseth's hat-trick came on 78 minutes when Sovannaroth was again the provider and Piseth crashed in a far post volley to round-off another deserved victory. 
Match report to follow.

Booysen on the double

PPCFC vs Army, back row, LtoR: C Pisa, Kim, Obadin, Polo, Srey, Chanpolin. Front: Charly, Sakrovy, Boran, Sokheng, Koroma - click to enlarge
Saturday 7 March 2015: Result: Phnom Penh Crown 3 Army 1 (Friendly).
In this afternoon's friendly at RSN Stadium, it was another two goals from South African trialist Shane Booysen, and a real beauty from In Sodavid that won the game for Crown, after Army had led 1-nil at the interval. Pov Phearath struck an arrow-like half volley to give Army the lead on 32 minutes. Booysen scored from the penalty spot after he had been knocked over in the box 7 minutes into the second half. On 71 minutes Booysen capitalised on a Sean Pisa long ball and rolled in his second goal. Army were never out of it and Nelson Oladiji went close a couple of times before Academy midfielder In Sodavid made it 3-1 with a 22-yard drive into the top corner with 6 minutes to go.
Match report to follow.

Friday, March 6, 2015

National team triumph at last

PPCFC vs NT, back row, LtoR: Kochi, S Pisa, Boris, Kim, Makara, Obadin. Front Row: Sothy, Da, Sokheng, Tola, Booysen - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Cambodia National Team 2 (Friendly).
The Cambodia national team finally broke their hoodoo against Crown and came out on top in this afternoon's friendly match at RSN Stadium, as they prepare for next week's World Cup game against Macau. In previous matches between Crown and the national team it was the club side who held an unbeaten record, until today. With Lee Tae-Hoon's team playing their second match in two days, following a 1-0 win over Naga, he was unable to include Bin Thierry against his own team, after he picked up an ankle injury the day before. Crown coach Sam Schweingruber was missing the injured George Bisan and Momoh Sumaila and gave a starting place in midfield to Sean Pisa, with new arrival from Sierra Leone, Santigie Koroma on the bench. The visitors began brightly with Chan Vathanak blasting over and Odion Obadin denying Khuon Laboravy with a timely block. On 11 minutes Shane Booysen found himself in space but his attempted lob went straight to keeper Um Sereyrath. With three Crown players playing against their own club side, it was Va Sokthorn who posed the most threat and another Obadin block and tackle denied his Khmer-French teammate a clear shot on goal. Japanese goalkeeper Jun Kochi kept out a shot by Chan Vathanaka, before Jeongho Kim challenged Sereyrath for a Thourng Da cross, only for the keeper to gather it at the second attempt. On 25 minutes, Vathanaka went down all-too easily as Kochi came out to gather and the referee pointed to the spot. The Japanese keeper, who has been playing in Thailand for the last few years, made amends with a brilliant dive to his right to push Vathanaka's penalty wide. Booysen was fouled on the edge of the penalty box but his curling free-kick was wide of the far post by a yard. Ngoy Srin found himself in a good position but sent his effort wide before Kim capitalised on a defensive error by Say Piseth and bore down on goal, only to get a shove in the back as he fired over, with the referee turning a blind eye to the obvious infringement.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, the national team broke the deadlock. A wayward backpass by Leng Makara was pounced on by Vathanaka and he had the easy task of rolling it wide of Kochi for the opening goal. Two minutes later, Obadin broke past two defenders into the box and his precise pass was skewed wide of the far poat by Ouk Sothy, when an equaliser looked on the cards. Kochi recovered from a slip to keep out Sokthorn's effort but he was left stranded when Hoy Phallin supplied Vathanaka and his low cross was turned in by Laboravy for their second goal on the stroke of halftime. There was still time for Laboravy to send another good chance wide of the target with only Kochi to beat. At the break, the national team changed all eleven players whilst Crown sent on Koroma for his first taste of the action. The youngster, who played for Sierra Leone's U-20s last year, didn't have to wait long before making an impact. Booysen's chip over the backline created confusion with Sou Yaty and Touch Pancharong colliding, leaving Koroma the easy task of tapping the ball home from a yard with his first touch. A nice way for the teenager to announce his arrival. His pace was causing Pancharong problems though his eagerness saw him caught offside three times in quick succession. Obadin's ball forward was back-headed by Booysen as Yaty collected the ball on the goal-line, and Koroma's tricky wing play set up Makara close-in but his miskick went astray. At the other end, Moung Makara's shot was blocked by Kochi's legs, and Da made a timely tackle on Kouch Sokumpheak as he looked set to get a shot away. An Obadin back-pass fell short and Sary Matnorotin rounded Kochi but his effort struck the upright, with Makara also lobbing a 20-yard effort against the Crown cross-bar. Crown's Makara sent a dipping volley goalwards with the home team's final chance but Yaty dived to his left to keep out the shot at the foot of the post, to deny the team he left a few weeks before. On the balance of play, a win for the national team was just about deserved.
PPCFC vs NT: Kochi (Ary 77), Da, Sokheng (Boran 46), Boris (Titchhy 90), Obadin, Sothy, S Pisa (Chanpolin 46), Makara (Polo 86), Tola (Koroma 46), Booysen, Kim (Yapo 78). Subs not used: Srey, Chhaya, Sovann, C Pisa, Baraing, Charly. MOTM: Kochi. Goal: Koroma (47).
The starting national team XI, included PPCFC's Sokthorn, Srin and Suhana

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Playing for their future

The 20 who progress to the final trials in April
The trials on Saturday morning for youngsters looking to earn a place in the Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-13s were a great success with more than 230 boys involved in the testing. The Crown coaches selected 20 of the best boys to progress to the final test, which will take place in April after the coaches have assessed players in regional try-outs in Siem Reap, Poipet, Battambang, Kompong Som and Koh Kong. Here are the 20 boys who go through to the final test.

Crown raid Sierra Leone

3 new PPCFC faces from Sierra Leone
Phnom Penh Crown have raided the Craig Bellamy Foundation Academy in Sierra Leone, in West Africa, for three of their most talented and accomplished players. The three new faces arrived last night from Freetown and will join PPCFC until October of this year. Whilst Santigie Koroma (aged 18) will test himself with the Crown senior team, his two teammates, Suleiman Samura (17) and Umaru Samura (16) will feature for Crown’s Academy team. Crown’s Academy Technical Director Tom Legg knows the boys well from his time in Sierra Leone and is confident in their ability. "PPCFC have shown over the past few years their commitment to establishing an environment of excellence and maximise the capacity of the Academy program. The acquisition of Umaru and Suleiman shows how dedicated we are to strengthening our position as the leading football development program in Cambodia and a sign of intent to push for even greater success. The experience both players have gained over the past five years in Sierra Leone and Europe, and the mentality that is necessary to reach these levels will serve as inspiration to those around them to realise their own true potential." Suleiman and Umaru will become part of the Academy U-17 squad in preparation for acceptance into the 2015 Asia Champions Trophy. Santigie, who made his international debut for Sierra Leone's U-20 national team last year at the age of 17, will be challenging for a place in the senior team.

5 Crown players in NT

The Cambodia NT vs Singapore U-22, courtesy of Masayori Ishikawa. Back row, Udom, Sovan, Thierry, Sovannrithy, Visal, Laboravy. Front: Srin, Sokthorn, Suhana, Chhoeun, Phirum - click to enlarge
The Cambodia National Team won their latest World Cup warm-up friendly match, 3-0 against the Singapore U-22 team at Svay Rieng on Saturday. Not exactly first-class opposition before the double-header World Cup ties with Macau next month, but a suitable confidence booster nonetheless. 4 Phnom Penh Crown players started the match with Bin Thierry, Ngoy Srin, Va Sokthorn and Sos Suhana helping the team to a 3-0 victory, with all three goals scored in the first-half. Prak Mony Udom with two tap-ins and captain Khuon Laboravy netted the goals for Cambodia. Thierry had a big hand in the first goal and Suhana's shot was saved for Udom to tap in the third. Sokthorn was busy throughout the hour he spent on the pitch with 4 attempts on goal. Sary Matnorotin replaced Sokthorn on 62 minutes, Suhana was also replaced and Thierry was subbed on 70 minutes. Crown's Thourng Da was not selected. The starting line-up looks like the one coach Lee Tae-Hoon will stick with, with the Macau matches firmly in mind. There appears to be no starting place for keeper Sou Yaty and a few other notable absentees are Kouch Sokumpheak, Hong Pheng and Chan Vathanaka, though the latter may get a call-up next week.

Sovann revels in new role

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Sovann, Sakrovy, Chhaya, Titchhy, Soksela, V Samnang (capt). Front: Rozak, Sodavid, Chansopheak, Baraing, Chanpolin - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 4 AEU 2 (Friendly).
Crown's Academy U-17s were well in front by the half-time break, leading 4-nil and had enough to see out this win at RSN Stadium. Vat Samnang opened the scoring with a far post header on 19 minutes from In Sodavid's cross. Ouk Sovann, playing in his new striker's role, finished off a smart move and center from Mat Sakrovy after 27 minutes, and then Orn Chanpoilin touched home his free-kick 6 minutes later. Sovann netted his second with a neat finish from Seut Baraing's whipped cross on 37 minutes. AEU scored twice after the break and Keo Soksela pulled off a couple of smart saves, but the Academy advantage stood firm to win 4-2 against the team who finished in 8th place last season.
Match report to follow.

The Booysen show

PPCFC vs TriAsia, back row, LtoR; Sokheng, Boris, Kim, Makara, Obadin, Ary. Front: Sothy, Momoh, Boran, Bisan, Booysen - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 5 TriAsia PP 1 (Friendly).
At the final whistle Shane Booysen felt he didn't play so well this afternoon, despite the fleet-footed South African scoring two and making two more in this well-deserved 5-1 success for Crown at RSN Stadium. The TriAsia team had held the Cambodia national team to a goalless draw in midweek but were no match for Crown in this encounter. With head coach Sam Schweingruber on his way back from Spain, his assistant Tes Sophat was in charge and gave starting berths to two players on trial, Booysen and Momoh Sumaila. Booysen will kick himself when he sees the replay of a chance on eight minutes when Ouk Sothy set him free down the middle but his lob went wide of the far post. Yok Ary was down well to block a shot soon after before Crown took the lead on 22 minutes. Booysen's free-kick accuracy was evident as Odion Obadin outjumped the TriAsia defence to head home a pinpoint cross. Leng Makara, from George Bisan's pass, had a shot blocked by Hem Simay's legs, whilst at the other end, Chan Rithy's disguised free-kick produced a wonderful one-handed save from Jun Kochi, who replaced Ary on the half-hour. Crown would use four keepers in the match. Bisan volleyed over from distance and Jeongho Kim had a drilled shot held low down by Simay before Crown netted a second a minute before the break. It was the Booysen-Obadin combination once again as a free-kick from the right flank unerringly found the defenders' head and the back of the net.

There was no change after the break as Crown continued to control the match. Makara fired into the side netting and Kim headed over the bar under pressure. Momoh's smart pass to Makara saw the winger drill a shot across the face of goal, and he then found Booysen, whose first-time effort went wide too. Bisan's forceful run and cross saw Kim denied on the goal-line amidst a dust cloud, and Booysen had a shot held by the keeper. Khmer-French trialist keeper Danny Srey saved with his feet and then at the foot of the post before Booysen finished off a sweeping six-man, one-touch move with a thumping left foot dipping drive for Crown's third goal, and followed it with a double somersault to celebrate. It came on 74 minutes with Chey Chetra supplying the final pass. Srey had no chance with TriAsia's consolation goal three minutes later. On 83 minutes Booysen showed sublime touch and skill as he latched onto a quick free-kick, left two defenders in his wake on the bye-line before nonchalantly flicking the ball past the keeper for a stunning individual goal. Two minutes later another piece of Booysen magic set up Um Tola but he squirmed his low drive wide of the far post. With a minute to go, Ivory Coast trialist Franck Yapo capitalised on another Booysen dribble, and sold the keeper a dummy before rolling the ball into the net for Crown's fifth and a satisfying victory. 
PPCFC vs TriAsia: Ary (Kochi 31, (Srey 60, (Usarphea 81))), Boris, Boran, Sokheng, Obadin, Sothy, Kim (Tola 66), Sumaila, Makara (Chetra 64), Booysen, Bisan (Yapo 76). Booking: Boran. MOTM: Obadin + Booysen. Goals: Obadin 2 (22, 43), Booysen 2 (74, 83), Yapo (89).