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


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).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Honours shared

PPCFC starting XI, back row, LtoR: Kochi, Boris, Sokthorn, Thierry, Obadin, Bisan. Front Row: Matnorotin, Sothy, Sokheng, Pisa, Booysen - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 2 African All Stars 2 (Friendly).
Honours were shared at the end of this often bruising 3x35 minute practice match at RSN Stadium this afternoon with both teams having spells on top before the game petered out to a hard-fought draw in the third period. Japanese goalkeeper Jun Kochi was commanding in goal for Crown early on as he made himself big in the face of some marauding African XI attacks, stopping three attempts on goal in the first sixteen minutes. George Bisan was wayward at the other end though Shane Booysen's chipped effort was headed off the goal-line as play switched from end to end. Bisan, from Booysen's tricky wing play, had a chip shot cleared from the under cross-bar before the same combination came up with Crown's opening goal on 31 minutes. Floored by another crass defensive tackle, Booysen's delivery into the box was spot-on and Bisan powered in a header from six yards out. A nice return goal after the striker arrived back from a five-week visit to his Nigerian homeland on Thursday. Bisan found space a minute later but his chipped effort missed the far post by a whisker, and with the last kick of the first period, Booysen's low shot was fumbled and Ouk Sothy's follow-up struck the keeper's body and was cleared. 

Both teams made changes at the break and it was the African XI that came out with guns blazing. The visitors fielded a line-up containing many of the best foreign players in the C-League throughout the game with Dzarma Bata, the league's top scorer amongst their ranks. Svay Rieng's James Adekunle was booked for a scything tackle from behind on Bisan, and they grabbed an equaliser ten minutes after the restart. A right wing cross was headed in at the near post which keeper Yok Ary couldn't keep out, and a minute later, they went ahead after Jeongho Kim failed to halt Nelson Oladiji's charge down the flank. Crown recovered their composure and Momoh Sumaila's run past three players set up Bisan for a low drive which the keeper kept out. A minute later, an acrobatic save at the foot of the post from Kim's header at a corner signalled a warning bell for the visitors which they failed to heed. On 61 minutes, Booysen, who'd been a threat all game, delivered a second cross from a corner and Leng Makara directed his header into the corner of the net for a deserved equaliser. The third period failed to live up to the previous two and the only effort of note was a free-kick by the visitors that rebounded off the cross-bar to leave honours even.
PPCFC vs AASXI: Kochi (Ary 36), Pisa (Srin 36 (Pisa 71)), Sokheng (Da 36 (Sokheng 71)), Boris (Obadin 71), Obadin (Kim 36), Thierry (Suhana 36), Sothy (Sokthorn 71), Sokthorn (Makara 36 (Thierry 71)), Matnorotin (Sumaila 36), Booysen (sub 71 (Boran 92)), Bisan (Tola 71 (Matnorotin 90)). Subs not used: Usarphea, Charly, Polo. Bookings: None. MOTM: Booysen - his deliveries and exciting wing play are a joy. Goals: Bisan (32), Makara (61).
PPCFC line-up 2nd period, back row, LtoR; Srin, Bisan, Kim, Boris, Momoh, Ary. Front: Da, Makara, Suhana, Booysen, Sothy - click to enlarge

Monday, February 16, 2015

Football for Development

40 coaches on the latest course from PPCFC, SALT & World Vision
Phnom Penh Crown and SALT Academy have once again teamed up with World Vision Cambodia (WVC), this time to host a 5-day Football for Development Initiative Level 1 Youth Coaching Course at RSN Stadium, that began on Monday morning. 40 young football coaches from around the country will receive technical skills and life skills training over five days with the program vision of developing, nurturing and strengthening young people and the next generation of leaders across Cambodia. Crown have already partnered World Vision to produce 2 videos on combating child malnutrition and joined in the WVC national youth festival, as part of a joint program with AFC and Asian Football Development Project for the One Goal campaign to improve child nutrition and adopt healthy lifestyles. The Football for Development Initiative is an important pathway to improve young people in Cambodia and PPCFC is 100% behind this exciting new initiative, with club President Rithy Samnang at today's launch alongwith World Vision's National Director Jason Evans.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Another double success

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Noeut, Ponvuthy, Sodavid, Senteang, Baraing, Samnang (capt). Front: Titchhy, Chhaya, Soksela, Sakrovy, Chanpolin - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 5 Bayon Wanderers 2 (Friendly).
At RSN this afternoon, the Crown Academy took on local expat team Bayon who lost to the senior team the previous week. It took until the 25th minute to open the scoring through Pov Ponvuthy, who placed his drive inside the far post. Crown added a second goal ten minutes later when Chhuot Senteang netted at the second attempt running onto an In Sodavid through ball. Three minutes after the half-time break, Mat Sakrovy skilfully grabbed a third when he nutmegged two players and blasted home his shot from 15 yards. After a series of play swaps, Yeu Muslim rolled in the fourth on 59 minutes after neat work from Mat Noron. Bayon scored a couple of goals on the break before Muslim missed a couple of sitters from close range. Ouk Sovann wrapped up the goalscoring with a smart finish a minute before the end, from Orn Chanpolin's pass, for a deserved victory.

PPCFC U-17s: Soksela, Noeut (Chanchav 52), Baraing (Chansopheak 52), Titchhy (Piphop 52), V Samnang, Chanpolin, Sodavid (Sovann 52), Chhaya (Noron 52), Sakrovy (Phearath 52), Ponvuthy (Muslim 52), Senteang (Rozak 52). Booking: Rozak. Goals: Ponvuthy (25), Senteang (35), Sakrovy (48), Muslim (59), Sovann (89). 
PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Samnang, N David, Chetra, Savey, Sovannaroth, Safy (capt). Front: Kakada, Rina, Piseth, Samel, Panha - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 6 Daniel FC 5 (Friendly).
It was all one-way traffic in the first-half at RSN Stadium this afternoon with Sin Kakada opening the scoring on 17 minutes after Ky Rina went close a couple of times. Kakada has developed a habit of scoring excellent goals and this solo effort was another one to add to the collection. Mao Piseth scored twice in as many minutes, the first coming on 26 minutes with a drive from the edge of the box. His second was a through ball from Kakada which he tried to chip over the keeper but fortunately netted at the second attempt. Kakada rounded off the half with a 25-yard effort that the keeper dived full length to keep out. The second half saw a goal glut and Daniel grabbed two quick-fire efforts before Tong Chanmony lashed in a 25-yard screamer on 57 minutes that flew into the top corner. Piseth rolled in his hat-trick on 70 minutes after a weak kick out from the keeper and Chanmony tapped home from a yard six minutes later from Piseth's low cross but Daniel never gave up and the match ended 6-5 in favour of the young Academy boys. Near the final whistle both San David and Chriv Sokundavann went very close with efforts.

PPCFC U-15s: S Samnang, Panha (Chanmony 46), Chetra (Punlork 61), Savey, Safy, Sovannaroth, Samel (Davann 61), Rina (Pisoth 61), Kakada (N David 79), N David (S David 46), Piseth (Panha 79). Goals: Kakada (17), Piseth 3 (26, 28, 70), Chanmony 2 (57, 76).

Crown add to their ranks

South Korean Jeongho Kim returns to join PPCFC
Phnom Penh Crown have announced the re-signing of the highly-popular utility South Korean player Jeongho Kim and are looking at other foreign acquisitions ahead of the new season, believed to be starting in late March of early April. The Federation are yet to confirm the start date or fixtures. The 23-year-old Kim was with the club last season and made a big impression despite his limited number of opportunities in the first-team, as Crown collected the Metfone Cambodia League Championship. He netted three league goals before he left the club in August and was training with Boeungket at one stage. Head coach Sam Schweingruber had this to say about the return of the highly-popular player: “Jeongho was an important player in our squad last season, even though he didn’t play enough. Whenever we gave him playing time, he impressed and showed his potential in training and in games. We first tried to sign him again last year but as Jeongho was asking for more playing time, we didn’t know we could agree to his demands. Finally, after the departure of Adriano and recent developments, we have agreed terms and hope that our Korean jewel will come to shine in 2015!" As a schoolboy Jeongho was a star striker for his school in Busan, earning a scholarship at the prestigious Kwangoon University and training spells overseas. His University playing career was cut short with a serious ankle injury but last season he showed his potential in a variety of positions, both in defence and as a striker, and that ability to play in a variety of positions, will be invaluable to Crown again this season.
Wing wizard Shane Booysen has spent the past year in Thailand
Involved in their friendly match with BBU on Saturday were four trialists, including the easily-recognisable, Momoh Degule Sumaila (aged 29), who has been a regular with Boeungket for the past three years. In fact the Nigerian midfielder made his debut for them against Crown, scoring, in June 2011. In goal for PPCFC was the experienced Jun Kochi, a 31-year-old Japanese import who has been playing in Thailand for Army, Sriracha and Pattaya after a career in his home country and a stint in Singapore with Albirex Niigata. Making quite an impression with two goals and some quick footwork on the wing was 26-year-old Shane Booysen who spent the past year in Thailand with Rbac Mittraphap and then BCC-Tero, after moving from his South African homeland where he appeared for Mamelodi Sundowns, Gleneden and iKapa Sporting academy. Also getting a start was striker Marcel Hugues Togbe (25), from Ivory Coast, who had spells in Oman with Al-Nadha and Al-Oruba before moving to Thailand with Nakhon Ratchasima. It will be up to coach Sam Schweingruber how he progresses with his foreign signings ahead of the new season. It's believed clubs will be allowed 5 foreigners, with three to play at any one time, though that small detail is not yet confirmed by the Federation, with Crown now confirming they have three on their books in Jeongho Kim, Odion Obadin and George Bisan.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

SVR win as expected

The Hun Sen Cup final went pretty much the way everyone expected with home team Svay Rieng winning, albeit at the death, 2-1 against Nagaworld, with a Nob Tola goal in the first minute of injury time deciding the tie. On the hour Naga's Sun Sophana levelled Prak Mony Udom's 1st-half opener, but Sun Sovannrithy was then red carded by referee Tuy Vichheka, which incurred the wrath of not only the Naga players but also Khmer football fans on Facebook, leaving the match official in doubt what they thought of him. Tola's late late winner gave the Military Police-backed team a third success in the country's only cup competition. Udom won the golden boot with 24 goals. The 2014 winners National Police came unstuck in the third-place play-off, going down 3-0 to TriAsia.

Booysen impresses

PPCFC vs BBU, back row, LtoR: Kochi (GK), Sokthorn, Thierry, Obadin, Boris, Togbe. Front Row: Sokheng, Pisa, Matnorotin, Suhana, Booysen - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 3 Build Bright Utd 1 (Friendly).
Crown offered up some excellent free-flowing football in the first-half of today's practice match at RSN Stadium and deservedly led 3-0 at the break. Coach Sam Schweingruber gave a start to three players on trial, with Shane Booysen and Marcel Togbe only arriving the day before, both having been with clubs in Thailand in recent months. Japanese goalkeeper Jun Kochi has been with the squad for a few days, also making the short hop-over the border. It was a lively start and South African Booysen wasted no time in showing his worth on the left flank. On seven minutes, he controlled the ball, swerved past two players and let fly with a shot that hit the net before the BBU keeper could move. One-nil and perhaps the best start a trialist could ask for. Sary Matnorotin's center missed Togbe's boot by inches and Va Sokthorn sent in a curling free-kick that was cleared off the goal-line before Crown struck their second on 15 minutes. Kochi's drop-kick was well-aimed and Togbe, an Ivorian striker, took on his marker and his cross to the far post was perfection as Matnorotin volleyed the ball home. Booysen's quick feet and speed off the mark was devastating and his pass to Sos Suhana, who moved the ball onto Sokthorn, saw the French-Khmer import sky his shot from fifteen yards out. More Booysen magic saw Sokthorn set up Matnorotin but his volley missed the target by inches. Crown were rampant at this stage with Bin Thierry firing wide from the edge of the area and Booysen missing the target from close range after Odion Obadin's header was fumbled by the keeper. With less than thirty minutes gone, Matnorotin was sent clear by Suhana but he screwed his chip shot horribly wide before Crown made four changes. Just before the break, a scuffle broke out with Rim Bunhieng squaring up to Kok Boris and then Crown had Ouk Sothy to thank for heading an effort off the line from a corner. On the stroke of half-time, Booysen registered his second, sprinting clear onto Jeongho Kim's long ball down the middle, and lobbing the ball into the net from 25 yards.

The second period started slowly before BBU were back in the game after a howler of a refereeing decision on 58 minutes. Thierry's free-kick was blocked by the goalscorer who was standing just five yards from the dead-ball, he played a one-two with a colleague and netted, with no-one quite believing the referee allowed the goal to stand. Thierry went close to cancelling out the mishap but his 20-yard effort was touched wide at the foot of the upright. More substitutions didn't help the flow of the game but Booysen struck a volley well over from Ngoy Srin's center and Togbe sent a free-kick inches over the bar after he was fouled. Booysen and Togbe combined neatly with the South African sending his skidding drive just wide before two very good saves denied Crown more goals. Firstly, Thourng Da broke into the box from Um Tola's pass only to see his shot saved and then Matnorotin set up Booysen, but his vicious shot was fisted clear and the game came to an end, with Crown victorious. 
PPCFC vs BBU: Kochi (Ary 46), C Pisa (Sothy 32 (Suhana 78), Sokheng (Da 46), Boris (Matnorotin 66), Obadin (Srin 32 (C Pisa 80), Thierry (Booysen 66), Suhana (Kim 32), Sokthorn (Obadin 66), Matnorotin (Makara 32 (S Pisa 66), Booysen (Sumaila 46), Togbe (Tola 83). Subs not used: Ursaphea, Chaly, Lavy, Polo. Booked: Obadin, Makara. MOTM: Booysen. Goals: Booysen 2 (7, 45), Matnorotin (15).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Crown win, Cambodia don't

Result: Phnom Penh Crown 7 Bayon Wanderers 2 (Friendly).
With six players on national team duty and the Academy playing live on TV in Svay Rieng, the remainder of the Crown senior team met local expat team Bayon Wanderers in a practice match at RSN Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Coach Sam Schweingruber gave playing time to some players who've been training with the team this week, including former Crown utility player Jeongho Kim and ex-Boeung Ket midfielder Momoh Degule Sumaila. Crown came out 7-2 victors with Leng Makara, Odion Obadin, Kim (with his first touch) and Long Boran scoring in the opening half. After the break, Sor Polo, Kim again and Chey Chetra netted with Ouk Sothy missing a penalty.
PPCFC Line-up: Ary (Ursaphea 46), C Pisa (Lavy 46), Sokheng (Chetra 46), Boris (Charly 60), Obadin, Sothy (Apollo 80), S Pisa (Makara 70), Makara (Kim 30), Boran, Momoh, Tola (Polo 46).

Cambodia NT, back row, LtoR: Chanrasmey, Rithy, Thierry, Piseth, Laboravy, Sereyroth. Front: Sovannrithy, Chhoeun, Suhana, Pancharong, Sokthorn - click to enlarge
Six Phnom Penh Crown players were part of the Cambodia National Team that lost 5-2 to South Korean club side Hwaseong FC on Saturday in a friendly at Svay Rieng. Bin Thierry, Sos Suhana and Va Sokthorn played in the opening 45 minutes, with the match all-square at 2-2 at half-time. Sun Sovannrithy and Khuon Laboravy, from a Suhana assist, netted for the national team, with the Korean leveller coming with the last kick of the first-half. In the second period, Sary Matnorotin, Ngoy Srin and Thourng Da were in the line-up as coach Lee Tae-Hoon changed all eleven players, but the game didn't go to plan with Da getting booked and Hwaseong looking dangerous against a young Cambodia line-up, that conceded further goals on the hour and then two more late strikes to a team from Korea's fourth tier of football. Not the result the large crowd were hoping to see from the national team, who have World Cup qualifying games coming up next month.
Postscript: Phnom Penh Crown's goalkeeper Sou Yaty was in the Cambodia national team line-up for the match having a few days earlier left the club to join Boeungket for a substantial fee. Yaty was the MCL Goalkeeper of the Year last season but was one of four players suspended by Crown after their pre-season trip to China. All four players including Kouch Sokumpheak, Khim Borey and Hong Pheng, have now left the club.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Nine in a row, and on TV

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Chanmony, Chetra, Savey, Sovannaroth, Safy (capt). Front: Kakada, Samel, S David, Piseth, Panha - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 2 FFC Academy 0 (Friendly).
In this showpiece match before the Cambodia National Team game at Svay Rieng's new stadium, the younger Crown Academy boys were seeking to extend their winning record against the FFC Academy to nine matches and with the TV cameras at the game, it added some extra spice to the friendly encounter. After a few minutes to settle, the Crown Academy sparked as Mao Piseth robbed a defender of the ball but his low drive was gathered at the near post by FFC keeper Yi Bunheng. However, the keeper had no chance when Piseth lashed a half-volley past him for the opening goal on 15 minutes, after Tong Chanmony's cross was only partially headed clear. Sin Kakada was enjoying his number 10 role and sent a 25-yard shot wide before Piseth curled a free-kick from a tight angle, just inches wide of the far post. Another Piseth shot was charged down and Pich Sovannaroth poked his shot wide from just outside the box. Kakada and Sovannaroth both tried their luck from distance without success as the first-half came to an end with Crown in control. Six minutes after the break, Svang Samnang was twice called upon to deny Sean Sopheatra, who found space in the Crown penalty area and Tray Vichet miskicked when free at the far post. On the hour, Sem Dona's barge on Kakada gave referee Srei Vannareth no option but to award a penalty and substitute Nop David stepped up to cheekily score with a Panenka penalty kick, that he chipped down the center of the goal. A minute later Sovannaroth's pass found Piseth but his fierce drive was too high. Sovannaroth was enjoying lots of possession in an unfamiliar midfield role and sent in two more shots, though both missed the target. Crown captain Yue Safy blocked a break into the area by Lon Then, and Samnang was quick off the mark to rob Seang Chanthea as he broke clear of the offside trap. Despite the FFC's revival, Crown remained dangerous and Piseth's shot on the turn was held by Bunheng, who then tipped a 30-yard effort from the Crown striker onto the cross-bar. Moments later, Kakada's shot was deflected into the path of Piseth who blasted the ball wildly out of the stadium, before FFC spurned a great opportunity to reduce the deficit with six minutes left to play. Ky Rina's tackle on Chanthea saw him booked and a penalty kick awarded, but Vichet screwed the spot-kick wide of Samnang's right-hand post. Dona was fortunate to only see yellow for a knee-high tackle on Kakada as both teams tired in the hot sunshine and Samnang collected Son Somchhai's shot as the game came to an end. Crown maintained their 100% record against the FFC with their ninth success on the trot in the last twelve months, to make it clear who is the dominating force in junior Cambodian football.

PPCFC U-15s: Samnang, Samel (N David 46), Chetra, Safy, Savey, S David (Punlork 62), Sovannaroth (Pisoth 76), Chanmony (Davann 89), Panha (Rina 46), Kakada, Piseth. Subs not used: Rafat. Bookings: Chanmony, Rina. MOTM: Piseth - always dangerous. Goals: Piseth (15), N David (60 penalty).
The FFC Academy starting XI, lost their 9th consecutive match to PPCFC

Friday, February 6, 2015

Handed a lesson

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Sakrovy, Senteang, Soksela, Rozak, Titchhy, V Samnang (capt). Front: Piphop, Ponvuthy, Noron, Chansopheak, Baraing - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 0 Nagaworld 8 (Friendly).
The Crown Academy U-17s were on the wrong end of a scoreline that they often inflict on other teams when they met the Nagaworld first-team at RSN this afternoon. The youngsters enjoyed good spells at the beginning of both halves but were made to pay for some sloppy defending against the semi-finalists in the Hun Sen Cup. Goalkeeper Keo Soksela was called upon to keep out a shot from Prak Chanratana early on, whilst Mat Sakrovy sent a shot from distance over the bar and Men Piphop kicked air instead of the ball, just twelve yards out, from Mat Noron's center. Naga took the lead on 23 minutes as Soksela dallied with the ball at his feet, lost possession and was made to pay with the first goal. Two minutes later Chhim Sambo broke from his own half after a Crown corner was cleared, sprinted past Sraing Titchhy and neatly slotted it past Soksela as he came off his line. Two goals in as many minutes. Naga added a third just four minutes later when captain Vat Samnang was dispossessed in his own area and paid the price for not clearing his lines. Soksela dived full length to pull off a good save and Naga hit the woodwork before they struck the fourth, five minutes from the break, as the Crown defence parted like the Red Sea and Naga went in four goals to the good.

Coach Bouy Dary made six changes at the break and Naga brought on recently departed Khim Borey against his old club. As in the first-half, the Academy held their own for the opening thirty minutes of the half with Kim Chhaya having his blast blocked by Om Thavrak after some neat one-touch build-up play. Then Long Phearath ventured forward and weaved past the last man, only for his shot to be blocked by the Naga goalkeeper. On 75 minutes, Naga made seven changes of their own and the fresh faces made light work of the tiring Crown defenders. Barry Lelouma rolled in number five a minute later, former Crown striker Baldwin Ngwa scored a brace on 80 and 84 minutes, using his strength top power his way through, and Lelouma robbed Vat Samnang for Naga's 8th goal, two minutes into stoppage time. A final scoreline that the Academy U-17s will not want to see repeated anytime soon. Injuries kept out Ouk Sovann, Suon Noeut and Kung Chanvuthy.
PPCFC U-17s: Soksela, Chansopheak (Chhaya 46), Baraing (Rozak 82), V Samnang (capt), Titchhy (Chanchav 46 (Senteang 72)), Sakrovy, Rozak (Chanpolin 46), Piphop (Phearath 46), Noron (Sodavid 46), Ponvuthy, Senteang (Muslim 46).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Results and community involvement

PPCFC U-17s vs SVR, back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Sakrovy, V Samnang, Chanchav, S Samnang, Rozak. Front: Noeut, Noron, Ponvuthy, Muslim, Baraing - click to enlarge
Saturday 31 January 2015: Result: PPCFC Academy U-17s 2 Svay Rieng U-19s 1 (Friendly).
Ouk Sovann produced another brilliant free-kick three minutes from the end of a match which the Crown Academy U-17s dominated but couldn’t find the killer touch until Sovann’s moment of top quality. His 20 yard dead-ball, awarded for a foul on In Sodavid, curled over the wall and into the top corner for yet another stunning goal from the defender, who was a half-time replacement. Orn Chanpolin was off target with the first goal attempt and then Yeu Muslim followed that with a rasping low drive that was pushed aside by the SVR keeper. Chanpolin's next attempt was held easily enough before Mat Sakrovy will kick himself for fluffing an easy chance, set up by Pov Ponvuthy. Vat Samnang sent a free-kick a few feet wide, before Crown opened the scoring with just two minutes of the first-half remaining. Sakrovy's 25-yard effort wasn't held by the keeper and Muslim was on hand to turn the ball into the unguarded net. With six changes to the Crown line-up at the break, they reestablished their grip on the game as Sodavid's fizzer was held at the second attempt and Muslim's close-range effort was blocked by the keeper's body from Sodavid's bye-line pull-back. Sodavid then had another edge of the box shot pushed aside by the busy man between the sticks. Against the run of play, Svay Rieng levelled on 59 minutes as Crown failed to clear the danger, though that merely sparked the home team in to renewed efforts to win the match. Muslim met Sodavid's bye-line cross perfectly but couldn't keep his header under the bar and Sakrovy fed Suon Noeut and he by-passed the last defender only to have his shot saved by the keeper.
With the clock ticking, up-stepped Sovann to strike his glorious winner, and there was still time for Noeut to get a touch to a Sakrovy cross at the far post, but it went wide of the target. Nevertheless, a well-deserved victory for the Crown Academy against their biggest foes. 
PPCFC U-17s: S Samnang, Noeut (Sodavid 46), Baraing (Chansopheak 46), V Samnang (Noeut 69), Chanchav (Sovann 46), Rozak (Piphop 46), Chanpolin, Sakrovy, Ponvuthy (Titchhy 46), Noron (Phearath 46), Muslim. MOTM: Muslim. Goals: Muslim (43), Sovann (88).

Sunday 1 February 2015: Result: PPCFC Academy U-15s 9 Chamkarmon 6 (Friendly).
Sunday’s practice game at RSN Stadium saw goals galore as the Academy U-15s took on the adult team from Chamkarmon. Sin Kakada netted a hat-trick and the other Crown scorers were Chriv Sokundavann 2, Svang Samnang 2 and 1 each for Nop David and Tong Chanmony. Next Saturday, the U-15s travel to Svay Rieng to play the Federation Academy.
The PPCFC U-14s get their 3rd place medals in Singapore

U-14s finish 3rd in Singapore Soccer Sixes
The PPCFC U-14 boys returned home from Singapore with their medals for finishing in 3rd place in the youth tournament of the Singapore Soccer Sixes. Whilst we didn’t recapture the trophy we have won for the two previous years, the boys put up a strong showing and did very well. Mit Samel top-scored with 8 goals. Here are their results:
vs Muhamadiyah Welfare (Singapore) – Won 5-0 (Samel 2, Makara 1, Pisoth 2)
vs Bali Sports Foundation – Won 6-1 (Makara 1, Samel 1, Darapich 1, Pisoth 2, Rina 1)
vs Youth Football Phuket (Thailand) – Lost 2-4 (Pisoth 1, Samel 1)
vs Muhamadiyah Welfare (Singapore) Semi-Final – Lost 3-6 (Samel 1, Pisoth 1, Rina 1).
vs Bali Sports Foundation Third Place play-off – Won 3-0 (Samel 3).

In Sodavid and his all-girl team at Andong

The Phnom Penh Crown Academy players and coaches spent a recent Saturday afternoon in the relocation village of Andong, about 20kms outside of Phnom Penh, putting on a mini-football festival with the Development for People of Cambodia organisation and their 220 children, who had a fabulous time. It was a fun afternoon for everyone, the appetite for exercise and football amongst the children, who ranged from 6-13, was clearly evident and we will be returning to Andong in the near future. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Crown knocked out

PPCFC vs SVR, back row, LtoR: Srin, Matnorotin, Pisa, Sokthorn, Thierry, Boris (capt). Front: Ary, Suhana, Sokheng, Makara, Sothy - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Svay Rieng 4 (Hun Sen Cup Q-F).
Phnom Penh Crown were knocked out of the Hun Sen Cup at the home of Svay Rieng, in the quarter-finals, the same stage they exited the competition a year earlier. They travelled the 140kms to the provincial capital with a fully-fit squad of Khmer players and coach Sam Schweingruber opted for a striking duo of Bin Thierry and Va Sokthorn against the competition favourites, Svay Rieng. In front of a large home following, Prak Mony Udom tried his luck from 20 yards out by Yok Ary caught the free-kick comfortably. Another Udom free-kick saw Ary punch clear only to be clattered by Nob Tola after the ball had gone, with no action taken by referee Lim Buntheoun. Crown's first opening came on 16 minutes as Sos Suhana sent Leng Makara surging forward but his shot was held comfortably low down by Aim Sovannarath. Sary Matnorotin joined Chhom Pisa in the referee's notebook with less than twenty minutes played as Buntheoun tried to unnecessarily stamp his authority on the tie. Tola sent a near post header wide of the mark for the home team and Thierry headed down for Sokthorn, only for his shot to blaze high and wide. On 26 minutes Udom's pace undid the Crown back-line and as Ary came out to challenge, the SVR striker slipped past him and rolled the ball into an unguarded net for the opening goal. Ngoy Srin got on the end of a Thierry free-kick but headed wide and Matnorotin fired a shot inches wide from Touch Sokheng's center. As Crown pressed, Sokheng blasted a shot high and Matnorotin had two opportunities to level but failed. The first arrived from Leng Makara's cross but he placed his shot wide, and then Thierry's pass found him in the box but he waited too long to pull the trigger and his shot was blocked. With SVR nerves fraying, keeper Sovannarath was cautioned for an altercation with Srin and from the resulting corner, Ouk Sothy headed onto the top of the net to leave SVR with a slender lead at the break.

Crown stopper Ary dived full length to fingertip a drive from Udom around the post seven minutes after the restart and moments later, Sovannarath was writhing around in agony after an innocuous challenge by Makara. A hopeful cross was missed by two defenders though Udom sent his finish a long way clear of the cross-bar, and then Srin sent a header too high from Thierry's free-kick. Crown found themselves two-goals behind on 69 minutes as Srin dallied on the ball just inside the SVR half, Udom robbed him and sprinted clear to finish with precision. It was the turning point of the match. Ten minutes later, Tola turned Pisa inside out in the box and drove a third past Ary and a minute later, Udom set up Phany Rotha and he calmly slid the ball inside the far post for two SVR goals in as many minutes. Game effectively over though Crown refused to lie down and finished strongly, albeit too late to rescue the tie. Long Boran's blast from Matnorotin's center was tipped over acrobatically by Sovannarath, and Sokthorn's low drive was held at the second attempt. In the first minute of stoppage time, Matnorotin found the run of Srin and his cross-shot was met by a lurking Um Tola for a tap-in to give Crown a consolation goal. Moments later, Tola fed Boran but his fierce strike was inches too high as the final whistle blew on Crown's hopes of cup success this season. Head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his verdict: "In the 1st half we counted we had 7 shots, they had five, but we were not brave enough, not doing what we asked them to do in the box, way too many touches and not brave enough to try to score. To concede the 1st goal was not acceptable, but up front we needed to do better. We had a plan for the 2nd half, we had a few half chances before we conceded again. The 2nd goal we gave away was unacceptable. I am very angry with the way we defended, but we have to look forward and try to sort it out.".
PPCFC vs SVR: Ary, Pisa, Sokheng, Boris, Srin, Sothy, Suhana, Matnorotin, Makara (Boran 74), Thierry (Tola 84), Sokthorn. Subs not used: Usarphea, Chetra, Lavy, Charly, Da, Polo. Bookings: Pisa, Matnorotin. SVR 4 bookings. MOTM: Matnorotin. Goal: Tola (90+1). Referee: Lim Bunthoeun.