Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beating the Senate

PPCFC starting XI v Senate. Back LtoR: Srin, Thierry, Seyha, Boris, Pheng, Lika. Front: Da, Seiha, Dani. Suhana, Borey - click to enlarge
Phnom Penh Crown beat the Senate Secretariat team, one of two newcomers to the Metfone C-League this coming season, in a pre-season practice match at the RSN Stadium today, 4-2, but should've murdered them. Crown were without their head coach Sam Schweingruber, who's in Myanmar leading a FIFA grassroots course, which was scheduled before he took the Crown job. Without Pheak Rady and Chea Dara who were nursing injuries, the home team opened the scoring on 18 minutes once Khim Borey had been felled 30 yards out. Bin Thierry's fizzing free kick was pushed out by Senate keeper Mak Theara only to the feet of the onrushing Borey, who tapped the ball home. Two minutes later and Borey rolled home his second after Kok Boris has muscled his way past the last defender and set up his teammate for a simple goal. A minute later and a clumsy tackle by Ngoy Srin gave the Senate a lifeline and they netted from the spot-kick. Thierry and Borey sent long range efforts wide before Sos Suhana moved onto Borey's pass, outfoxed the keeper but saw his goal-bound attempt hacked clear from the line by a defender. Theara was in acrobatic form to deny a vicious Thierry drive just before the half-time interval.

Samrith Seiha's fingertips kept Crown's noses in front at the very start of the second period. And just five minutes after the re-start, Crown edged further in front. The first goal for Bin Thierry had been coming and it finally arrived when a Kok Boris pass fell to him, and he flicked the ball past Theara and rolled it in to an empty net. A minute later and Borey flashed a free-kick a foot wide of the upright from 25 yards. The Senate were not going down without a fight and a missed header by Thourng Da allowed them to nip in for their second goal on 55 minutes. With Ouk Sothy added to midfield, Crown then took firm control and did everything but score with a glut of chances going begging at regular intervals. Borey sidestepped perfectly and took aim for his hat-trick, only to send his drive too high. Thierry was on the hunt for more goals and saw two efforts blocked low down by Mak Theara, with the 2nd shaving the upright. Suhana and Pheng were both guilty of leaning back and firing their drives over the bar, whilst Borey was gifted a free header six yards out, from Thierry's pin-point cross, but he powered his header the wrong side of the post. With eight minutes remaining, Boris picked out Thierry, who in turn provided a gorgeous cross which Ouk Sothy, arriving late, headed inside the post for Crown's 4th. There was still time for Borey to put Suhana in on goal, but like his teammates, his whipped shot went high and wide. A satisfactory result for stand-in coach Bouy Dary, but I'm sure the squad will be working on their finishing in the week ahead after this showing.
PPCFC v Senate: Seiha (Chamrouen 81), Da, Seyha (Sothy 63), Srin, Lika, Boris, Dani, Suhana, Thierry, Pheng, Borey. Subs not used: Ary, Phearun, Kano, Morslim, Makara, Pisa. Bookings: None.

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