Sunday, September 11, 2011

Academy 2 claim the top honour

A match-winning performance from Vat Samnang for PPCFC2
The two PPCFC teams hold aloft their cups and celebrate
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy are the first winners of the First State Gold Investment Cup after this morning's fabulous final was beamed live to homes across Cambodia by the TVK television channel. But then again it was guaranteed that would happen after both of the Academy teams, PPCFC1 and PPCFC2, had won through yesterday's round-robin games to reach today's final. The hero of the hour turned out to be one of the smallest players taking part in the tournament, Vat Samnang, who hails from Battambang, and who turned 13 years old in May. Small in stature but big in heart and with a right-foot that adults would be proud of, his equalizer with two minutes of the final remaining was a stunning 25-yard strike that sailed into the top corner. It gave heart to his team, PPCFC2, and in the first minute of extra-time, he was on hand again to fire home what proved to be the winning goal for PPCFC2, who won 2-1 and celebrated by picking up their two-goal hero and throwing him into the air. The match proved to be a great advert for U-13 youth football and was a fitting finale to the cup competition that had welcomed the International Soccer Academy from Singapore to join with five Cambodian teams on the final day of action. The PPCFC1 team started the 10-minutes each way final with a point to prove after they lost 1-0 to their Academy teammates in the final match of yesterday's games. Yeu Muslim and Phoeun Sopheak both struck the woodwork early on and In Sodavid rounded the keeper but failed to find the finishing touch. In the second minute of the 2nd half, Sopheak found Mat Sakrovy in space and he made no mistake from close range to put PPCFC1 in front. That galvanised PPCFC2 into action and Vat Samnang and Seut Baraing both went close before Samnang's stunning strike from distance levelled the scores. In the first minute of four minutes extra time, Samnang stole in to score his second and PPCFC2 held out with keeper Kim Chhaya denying Yeu Muslim twice in the closing seconds. Cue the celebrations and presentation of the trophies by the guests of honour including FFC deputy president Khiev Sameth, former Chelsea manager Ken Shellito and PPCFC president Rithy Samnang. The ISA academy boys claimed third spot after beating CFO in their 3rd-place play-off, though every player that took part received a medal. Captain of the PPCFC2 team, Sraing Titchhy collected the main trophy as he and his teammates jumped for joy, soon joined by their PPCFC1 colleagues, also showing off their runners-up trophy. A great day for all, especially youth football in Cambodia.
There's usually winners and losers, but not in this cup, PPCFC are simply winners
The PPCFC2 squad line-up before the final
LinkThe PPCFC1 squad before the final of the First State Gold Investment Cup


Nick said...

Excellent tournament - very well organised - congratulations PPC on you academy. Wow! What a goal from Vat Samnang - a great exemplar for the academy!

Andy Brouwer said...

Thanks for coming out to support the tournament Nick. It all went swimmingly well, aside from the rain on Sunday 1st thing, but the standard of football was fabulous and the final was a beauty. I would've loved to have watched it on TVK as well :-)
There was good support from many families, the 1st team players and others. And for PPCFC Academy to get 1st and 2nd was no more than they deserved.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy, why is the youth team here promoting a betting site on their jersey? coming from england, i am sure you will know that such sponsorship is not ideal for the kids...i believed that when Liverpool was with carlsberg, their youth team had no branding on the tee when they play? same goes for those wit betting companies... but then we are in cambodia so not sure what is your view on that? kids and betting company?

Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Anon11:32,
To be frank its hard enough to get sponsorship in Cambodia that we are grateful for people prepared to back the team with the money that's required, whether its or OK Condom. In the UK people are falling over themselves to throw money at football, but that's not the case here. So its horses for courses.
If I personally rose up against everything that wouldn't be acceptable in the UK, then I would permanently be moaning and groaning, and I really don't want to live my life like that. If are prepared to sponsor the young Academy boys, then they are welcome. I know for a fact that the boys will not be tempted into online gaming as a result of the sponsors involvement.
But thanks for your interesting question.