Saturday, May 11, 2013

Taking heart

The PPCFC U-13 line-up that beat Brunei 2-0 this morning
A team under the Phnom Penh Crown name wrapped up their matches in the Thailand Invitation U-13 Tournament in Bangkok this morning. It's actually the Cambodia U-14 national team getting excellent preparation ahead of their AFC U-14 Championship qualifiers later this month in Myanmar, under head coach Bouy Dary. A few weeks ago a squad of 20 boys was selected after try-outs and have been training together, and living together, at Crown's RSN Stadium in Tuol Kork ever since. For the majority of the squad their trip to Bangkok was their first outside their own country and was a perfect baptism ahead of the more important AFC games coming up. Realistically, the tournament in Bangkok was to test the side's teamwork and to gain experience, winning matches was not expected, or a priority. They faced Malaysia in their first match on Wednesday and started badly, conceding a goal in the first minute. Malaysia struck three more before substitute Chhun Devy grabbed a last minute consolation for the Crown youngsters, who went down 4-1. The following day, Thailand were the opposition and proved too strong, running out 4-0 winners. In a much closer match on Friday, Laos managed to grab the all-important goal on 41 minutes and squeezed home 1-0. This morning was Crown's final match, against a Brunei team who'd finished bottom of their 4-team group. This time it was Crown's turn to celebrate with a two-goal salvo from Tang Rithyviwath, on 23 and 29 minutes, giving the Cambodian youngsters something to take home and take heart from ahead of their Myanmar trip. Captain of the team was Crown Academy goalkeeper Svang Samnang, who is just twelve years old and won't be 13 until October, though he towers over the rest of the squad in height. Two of the squad, Devy and Sary Slaiman are just ten years of age and two more are a year older. So its a extremely youthful squad that will take the lessons from Bangkok and put them to good use in the lead-up time to the AFC Championships. In Myanmar, Cambodia have been drawn in the same group, Group F, as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore and Thailand and play their first match on 28 May. The 20-strong squad is: Svang Samnang, Sao Sopheak, Kong Rafat, Sary Slaiman, Sin Kakada, Tong Chanmony, Sem Dona, Tep Veasna Komapitu, Yoe Saphy,  Thy Ronaldo, San Davith, Nop David, Lim Pisoth, Heng Kimhong, Sok Panha, Mao Piseth, Tang Rithyviwath, Em Sopharith, Ny Mustafa, Chhun Devy.
The PPCFC team that went down 4-0 to hosts Thailand

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