Monday, March 25, 2013

Academy on tour

The Academy team v Pursat. Back LtoR: Sodavid, Sovann, Soksela, Senteang, Chanpolin, Titchhy. Front: Phearath, Chansopheak, Muslim, T Chhaya, Nuron.

The Phnom Penh Crown tour of the northwest also allowed the Academy squad to play three matches as well as spend time with the first team over the three days of the tour, which cemented an already close relationship. It also gave head coach Sam Schweingruber the opportunity to give game-time to four of the Academy squad as substitutes in the four matches played by the senior team. As for the Academy games, their first came on Friday afternoon, when they met the Pursat youth team U-17s, winning 3-0. Chhuot Senteang opened the scoring after 17 minutes, holding off two challenges to score. Two minutes later, Yeu Muslim's cross set up an easy tap-in for In Sodavid. The Academy's third goal came three minutes from the end of the game when Orn Chanpolin netted confidently from the penalty box after a handball offense. The 2nd game for the Academy came in Poipet against Blooming FC U-16s, which the Crown youngsters won 4-1. Mat Sakrovy netted from Chanpolin's pass on 4 minutes, with Chanpolin adding a quick-fire second just two minutes later. Theang Chhaya fired a shot against the upright but Crown had to wait until the 15th minute of the 2nd half to add to their tally. Vat Samnang chased and cut back the ball from the bye-line to give Ken Chansopheak a simple tap-in, and on 22 minutes Pov Ponvuthy's shot took a wicked deflection before ending up in the net. Kim Chhaya headed an own goal for Blooming's late consolation effort.

The final game for the Academy was perhaps the most eagerly-awaited as they faced the Mighty Girls, the best female team in Cambodia by a country mile. The girls ages ranged from 14 to 17 and most of them have represented their country in international matches. However, on the day they were simply no match for a rampant Academy team, determined to prove themselves. In the heat of mid-day the match was played for 25 minutes each way. It took just 4 minutes for In Sodavid's free-kick to find the back of the net with a deflection and the goals continued to rain in. Mat Nuron then scored a 9-minute hat-trick with three close range finishes. Chhuot Senteang chipped in with two quick-fire goals and Sath Rozak sent in a cheeky 25-yard chip to give the Academy a seven-goal half-time lead. There was no let up at the start of the 2nd half. Vat Samnang slotted home, Mat Sakrovy found the net with a 25-yard lob and Rozak netted his second with a simple tap-in. Pov Ponvuthy raced clear to score and Sakrovy fired in his second before two of four young trialists, Vuth Sophara and Sok Panha added their names to the scoresheet. The final score: 14-0. In addition to the Academy players, we also took Keo Soksela on tour, the 15 year old goalkeeper who is attached to the club but not a member of the Academy. He featured in all the Academy matches as well as three of the senior team games and will this week sign C-League forms for the club, as will Seut Baraing. Soksela, Baraing, In Sodavid and Chhuot Senteang also got game-time with the senior team whilst on tour.
The Academy team v Mighty Girls. Back LtoR: Chanpolin, Sovann, S Samnang, Sodavid, Senteang, Titchhy. Front: Muslim, Chansopheak, Rozak, Nuron, Phearath

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Andy,

I'm Tav, a fan in the US. As the winter here begins to drag its feet away to make way for Spring and Summer, soccer is on the mind of many. And as I keep myself updated with the kids in Cambodia through your blog, I thought maybe I should mention an annual tournament in my neck of the wood which would be a fantastic experience for the academy boys/girls, if Crown had the resources to send them. It's called the Schwan's USA Cup. Teams of boys and girls from around the world come to Blaine, Minnesota to compete every July in different age groups from U9 to U19. Each team has an American host family/families.

Check it out at:

I'd love to see the Cambodian flag flying along side the others. I know it's a long shot, but I thought I'd bring it up.