Sunday, March 18, 2012

Through to final

2nd half Academy team. Back LtoR: Sakrovy, Senteang, Baraing, Titchhy. Front: Samnang, Sodavid, T Chhaya, Noeut, Chanchav
The final awaits the Phnom Penh Crown Academy boys after their 5-1 semi-final success over the ISF Flying Tigers this morning. The Academy have already posted a ten-game 100% success record in the league competition known as the Barclays Capital ISF U-14 Champions League. Like the adult Metfone C-League, the top 4 boys teams now join a play-off to decide the champions and so today it was 1st versus 4th. The final will be next Sunday and Preah Khan look the likely opponents. Fair play to ISF, they gave a good account of themselves and despite wave upon wave of attacks, the Academy led by just one goal at the interval. ISF even had the affront to score an equalizer against Crown. The first goal they've conceded in eleven matches. Letting in that goal kicked them up the backside and Crown went onto overpower ISF to win the semi comfortably. It took 17 minutes for Crown to break the ISF rearguard in the 1st half. Pov Ponvuthy danced into the box and was tripped from behind. He stepped up to confidently sidefoot the penalty kick into the top corner. Two Orn Chanpolin headers went wide by inches and other chances went begging before the break. Ten minutes into the 2nd half and ISF were gifted a penalty, which they screwed wide. A minute later, the referee awarded them a free-kick and the ball soared into the top corner to stun the Academy youngsters, who aren't used to conceding goals. They responded quickly and the re-introduction of Yeu Muslim was the catalyst. Nippy in and around the box, he got on the end of a well-made move and finished with a goalpoacher's instinct. Two minutes later and Mat Sakrovy finished a great 5-man move with his usual coolness in front of goal. Moments later and In Sodavid's direct free-kick sailed into the net and they rounded off a 5-1 win with an own goal from a hapless ISF defender. All too easy in the end but ISF made them battle before they gave up. Crown will meet Preah Khan in the final I reckon, but I left before the end of their semi-final, so I can't confirm. The B-team, also in the semis of the U-14 Premier League play-off against Komar Takhmau, ran out 6-3 winners with Kim Chhaya netting a hat-trick.
1st half Academy team. Back LtoR: Piphob, Senteang, Chanpolin, Sovann. Front: Ponvuthy, Chansopheak, Muslim, Rozak, Phearath
Pov Ponvuthy opens the scoring from the penalty spot
Ken Chansopheak crosses from the right wing
Head coach Bouy Dary issues final instructions to his team
LtoR: Men Piphop, Pov Ponvuthy, Vat Samnang
Yeu Muslim (near) composes himself, next to Long Phearath (right)
Sath Rozak reacts when he's told one of the players from the girls team wants his number
The PPCFC B-team squad before their semi-final, which they won 6-3 - it includes 5 Academy players

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