Phnom Penh Crown gave themselves another tough pre-season workout this afternoon, with a practice match at their RSN Stadium against the National Defense Ministry team and ran out 4-1 winners. The Crown starting line-up contained no less than eight new faces, with completely new defence and midfield combinations. And they didn't disappoint, taking a 3-1 lead within the first fifteen minutes of the match. Khim Borey was on target after seven minutes against his former club and Sok Pheng netted a second on ten minutes. The Army pulled a goal back two minutes later but one of Crown's trialists scored a third goal on fourteen minutes and that was the half-time scoreline. Making changes, Crown coach David Booth watched on as Chim Rathanak struck ten minutes from time to give the Crown team a 4-1 victory. PPCFC will announce its playing squad for the coming season, as well as a host of new arrivals, at a pre-season press conference at the end of this month.
In the meantime, the Cambodian national U-21s will host the SEA Games winners, the Malaysian U-23s, at the Olympic Stadium this coming Saturday (14 January) at 4pm. It's a warm-up for an U-21 tournament the Cambodians are entering in Brunei next month. No PPCFC players have been involved in the U-21s recent practice matches against Metfone C-League teams, as they have been busy preparing with the club's coaching staff ahead of the new season. The Cambodian national team beat the Malaysian Olympic side 1-0 in a similar friendly last June. However, this Malaysian team are gearing up to compete in the Singapore League starting next month, have just returned from a successful tour of Australia and are still basking in their SEA Games success. It'll be a tough lesson for Lee Tae-Hoon's team. For the friendly tournament in Brunei next month, a total of eleven teams will compete: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.