Sunday, November 27, 2011

Double Crown triumph

The Crown Champions League team collecting their winning prize
The mixed Premier League team line up for their prize-giving
The RSN Stadium at Tuol Kork was the venue for the start of the third Barclays Capital Indochina Starfish Foundation football league today with five pitches awash with boys and girls football matches throughout the day. The age groups were U-10s and U-14s as well as U-18 girls and the matches also included a team of deaf players from Krousar Thmey amongst the 46 teams taking part. I spoke to a lot of players from the teams who converged on the RSN Stadium and they all said how much they loved playing the games, whether they win or lose. It was so refreshing and a tribute to the work done by the ISF folks with squads from NGO’s, orphanages and schools making up the majority of the teams. The home team, Phnom Penh Crown entered two teams in the U-14 Champions and Premier Leagues, and they both won their respective championships on the day. With all games twenty minutes in duration, it was 7-a-side and the Champions team for Crown were all Academy boys. They beat Komar Athyreach 5-0, Preah Khan Reach 3-1, got a bye in the quarter-final and then beat Sunrise Kandal 2-0 in the semi. With two goals from Mat Sakrovy they then overcame Maruhan Japan Bank/PSE 2-0 in the final. Their passing was crisp and quick, each player played unselfishly and they always had enough gas in the tank to beat their opponents. For Crown's Premier team, it was a mix of Academy and non-Academy boys, including four U-10s. They found it a bit tougher but still won through to the Premier final, where they beat the ISF Flying Tigers team on penalties, with Svang Samnang netting the winning spot-kick after making two saves as his team's keeper. The day's winning teams in the boys and girls league were presented with their prizes of soft drinks and biscuits and will carry on with the championships every week between now and March at the same venue.
The winning teams in each grouping await their prizes
Theang Chhaya (20) heads the line for the Crown Champions League team
Mat Sakrovy scores one of his two goals in the final
The starting Champions League team in the final v PSE. Back Row: Sakrovy, Sopheak, Chanpolin, Titchhy. Front Row: Chansopheak, Sodavid, Muslim
The ISF keeper saves Nop David's penalty in the Premier League final
The Crown Champions league team in the semi-final v Sunrise Kandal
Penalty kicks decided this girls game after the teams drew. The games are played to a result.
This Crown Champions League team beat Preah Khan Reach 3-1
Mat Sakrovy on target again in the 5-0 win over Komar Athyreach
The Crown Champions League team beat Komar Athyreach 5-0 in the opening game
Instructions for the Crown teams from the coaching staff

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