Thursday, March 1, 2012

Good work-out

PPCFC starting XI. Back LtoR: Sovan, Asonibe, Sothy, Ary, Dara, Obadin. Front: Sovanna, Suhana, Vanthan, Sokumpheak, Borey
Phnom Penh Crown were beaten 2-3 by the African All Stars in this morning's practice match at the RSN Stadium, though it was a good work-out for the whole squad and will toughen up some of the younger players, playing against what was the strongest team of African players Crown have faced. In fact the opposition came charging out of the blocks and took a third minute lead. Crown responded with both Khim Borey and Sos Suhana seeing their goal-bound efforts turned aside by goalkeeper Paris Zidougha, who used to play for Khemara. Henry Asonibe cut to the bye-line but his center hit the foot of the post, and Khim Borey did likewise, cutting inside and curling a left-foot drive against the far upright. Crown coach David Booth introduced another new face, Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, into the fray and his presence sparked the team into wave upon wave of attacking moves. Chan Dara's shot was parried by Zidougha and Suhana had a close range effort blocked on the line, before Kouch Sokumpheak levelled the score, five minutes before the interval, receiving a pass from Borey, turning his marker and sweeping his shot into the far corner. All square at the break.

For the 2nd half, the African team included last season's C-League top scorer, Julius Oiboh and former Naga and Crown player Friday Nwakuna, but it was Crown who began quickly and Sokumpheak should've done better when he got on the end of a sweeping four-man move, but fired tamely at the goalkeeper after just thirty seconds on the clock. Eight minutes later and Sos Suhana made room for himself in the box and fired Crown ahead after another quick-fire passing move involving Frimpong and Borey who cut open the defence. In less than a minute, a neat series of passes gave Oiboh a tap-in at the far post and he doesn't miss those. 2-2. Crown changed nine players a minute later and as the new line-up bedded down, the Africans made their strength count with what proved to be the winning goal on 63 minutes. Both teams hit the woodwork again before the end, Leng Makara swivelling on the ball and whacking his effort against the upright with two minutes to go, but on this occasion the African All Stars came out on top.
Crown line-up: Ary (Chamroeun 55), Dara (Da 55), Vanthan, Sovan (Srin 55), Obadin (Tiny 55), Sothy (Frimpong 34 (Njoku 79)), Sovanna (Sophanal 55), Asonibe (Rathanak 55 (Makara 79)), Suhana (H Pheng 55), Borey (Chaya 55), Sokumpheak (S Pheng 55).
All eyes on the ball as Crown attack a corner kick
Khim Borey with a free-kick attempt in the 1st half
New face Emmanuel Frimpong, who was with coach David Booth at Sisaket last year
David Booth giving his team some pre-match tips
The African All Stars starting team of 12 players - did the referee notice?


Anonymous said...

New face is black guy again...

I was think this time, Cambodia's club will bring some high profile player in there asian region...

Andy Brouwer said...

Anon 8:57PM: If his performance yesterday was anything to go by, having landed just two days before, I think you may have to eat your words.
Trying to bring high class, high profile players to Cambodia is almost impossible. Salary expectations are going through the roof in neighbouring countries and there's no justification to pay those inflated wages here.
Take Burma/Myanmar as an example; very new league, new teams, football taking off and a player who used to play in the CPL is now earning $5-6K per month. Until Cambodia can match those wage demands, getting real top class players to come is a pipe-dream.