Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Friendly neighbours

Just heard that Phnom Penh Crown have been selected by the football federation, alongside Preah Khan Reach, to take part in an invitational international football tournament in one of the southern Vietnamese provinces in late November. It's called the Binh Phuoc TV Cup 2012 - it used to be known as the Number One Cup and played between armed forces from Vietnam, Cambodia  and Laos - and will be held in the capital city of Binh Phuoc province, Dong Xoai, between 20-29 November. Last season eight teams took part, 4 from Vietnam, two amateur teams from Cambodia (Kratie and Senate FC) and a team apiece from Laos and Thailand. It appears the standard has been raised for this year's competition with two of Cambodia's best club sides nominated by the federation to participate. The Binh Phuoc province borders Kompong Cham, Kratie and Mondulkiri provinces on the Cambodian side. The timing of the tournament falls during around the period players will be reporting back for pre-season training ahead of the Hun Sen Cup, that will likely begin in January. It also coincides with the finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup, so if Cambodia manage to qualify, then Crown's national team players will not be available for selection in the friendship tournament.

A second-string Phnom Penh Crown team drew 1-1 with the Senate FC team in a practice match at RSN Stadium in the rain this afternoon. The Senate team are bidding to gain entry to the Metfone C-League by competing in the Division 1A play-offs very soon, so this was good preparation for them, and a game for some of the Crown squad players who may, or may not be making the trip to Tajikistan. The Senate opened the scoring on the half hour and Leng Makara grabbed the equaliser on 68 minutes. Crown line-up: Chamroeun, Da, Lika, Srin, Vanthan, Sophanal, Sothy, Sovanna, Chaya, Rathanak (H Pheng 60), Makara. Crown will meet Rithysen from Kompong Chhnang in another warm-up match tomorrow at RSN, kick-off at 2pm.

The National Police Commissary team, carrying the flag of Cambodia into the regional police tournament being held in Vietnam, have returned triumphant, topping the tourney with wins over the teams representing Thailand, Laos and Australia and drawing with Vietnam. Whilst the police team have been rubbing batons with lots of other policemen, the play-offs for the Metfone C-League have been held up. The semi-finals will now take place on Sunday 9 September when Boeung Ket face Preah Khan Reach at 2.30pm and NagaCorp meet the buoyant National Police at 5pm. The winners of both matches will meet in the championship final on Saturday 15 September at 3.30pm. My tip for the champions - NagaCorp.

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