Annoyingly, I was unable to get to Kompong Cham this afternoon to watch Phnom Penh Crown's 2-1 practice match success over the home team, Boeung Ket Rubber Field football club. Quite a mouthful. However, the guys on the bench kept me up to date with the game's progress. Hong Pheng opened the scoring after just 2 minutes with Soeng Vanthan providing the pass, whilst Sok Pheng took aim from 25 yards and sent his shot fizzing past his former teammate Peng Bunchhay in the Boeung Ket goal to make it 2-0 for a youthful starting line-up for Crown, twenty minutes later. Crown had a handful of other chances to increase their advantage. The Rubbermen pulled a goal back five minutes before the interval and despite a complete switch of players, there were no goals after the break, with Crown running out 2-1 victors. Head coach David Booth chose to start with a young line-up, leaving most of his first-choice regulars keeping the bench warm until the interval, and the starting XI gave him the response he was looking for, on a pitch which made neat passing football an impossibility. He also gave a starting role to Chan Chaya, who has been training with the club in recent weeks.
Crown line-up: Oudom (Ary), Dara (Rady), Vanthan (Sovan), Lika (Tiny), Srin (Obadin), Sophanal (Sovanna), Rathanak (Sothy), Chaya (Asonibe), Makara (Suhana), S Pheng (Borey), H Pheng (Sokumpheak).