Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nervy Crown go under

PPCFC Academy. Back Row LtoR: Chanpolin, Titchhy, Sodavid, Baraing, Mesa, Sovann. Front Row: Muslim, Nuron, Samnang, Piphop, Chansopheak.
Phnom Penh Crown Academy coach Bouy Dary had this to say after watching his team lose 4-1 at home to visiting Chonburi FC from Thailand in the FAM-Frenz U-15 Asean Champions Trophy earlier today. "We were nervous today and made too many mistakes, especially in midfield. When we did get a chance we were too slow to react. In the 2nd half we put up a really good fight, we played good football but got punished for trying to play too much. And we didn't take our chances when they came along." For the Crown Academy it was their second defeat in three matches against one of the favourites to lift the trophy. They started slowly and never really got into their usual gear in the first-half of today's encounter at the Olympic Stadium, in front of a large expectant home crowd. Chonburi were on the front foot early on and Sem Mesa, in the Crown goal, had to push a high cross from Samart over his own bar and then lost a challenge with Krittanaphong, but the striker lobbed the ball over the top of an open goal. Losing possession and getting caught on the break, Crown struggled to hold the visitors as the first-half was pretty much one-way traffic, with Sittichok mis-kicking at the far post and Krittanaphone finding Mesa in the right place to tip his shot over the bar. Kittitach volleyed wide and Mesa was again in the way to deny Krittanaphong at the near post.  Crown's resistance finally gave way three minutes before the interval when Somchai took on and beat Ken Chansopheak and his cross was touched over the line by Samart. It was no more than Chonburi deserved.

In Sodavid's last-ditch tackle halted Somchai's run early in the 2nd half but it wasn't long before Chonburi added to their advantage. Eleven minutes after the break, Chansopheak tried to play his way out of trouble in his own penalty area, got dispossessed by Sittichok and the Thai midfielder made no mistake from eight yards out. A minute later and Crown threatened with their best chance of the game so far. Men Piphop sent Vat Samnang racing clear but Chakhon in the Chonburi goal stood firm, denying Samnang's two efforts and then collected Mat Nuron's weakly struck shot. Renewed by their chance, Crown were right back in the game and on 64 minutes Sath Rozak slotted in Sodavid who bore down on goal, but as Chakhon came out, the Crown midfielder pushed his shot the wrong side of the upright. A great opportunity to reduce the arrears wasted. Soon after the same player tried his luck from 25 yards but his shot sailed straight into the arms of Chakhon. Crown were caught out by another long ball but Sittichok went for power and the ball was blasted over the bar. Mesa came out bravely to deny Saharat as he burst through, and Somchai also blazed wildly high and wide. With ten minutes of the game remaining, Chonburi registered a third goal in fortunate circumstances. Somchai's floated cross caught Mesa in two minds and before he could react, it had cleared his head and nestled in the net. Refusing to lie-down, Crown's Chhuot Senteang, on the bench due to a family bereavement, moved onto a Seut Baraing pass but saw his shot saved by Chakhon, only for Keo Dara to smash the loose ball against the foot of the post. On 84 minutes, Chonburi put the result in no doubt when Sittichok powered in an unopposed header from Kanthawat's cross-field pass. Just a minute from the end, Senteang grabbed a very late consolation goal for Crown as Mat Sakrovy skipped past two defenders, pushed the ball to the striker and he powered his shot past Chakhon. Too little too late as far as the result goes but good to see the Crown team fight to the end of the game. They now travel for the next two days for the match in East Timor on Tuesday, followed by the return away to Chonburi next Saturday. 
PPCFC line-up: Mesa, Chansopheak, Baraing, Sovann, Titchhy (Noeut 79), Sodavid, Chanpolin (Rozak 62), Piphop (Sakrovy 83), Muslim (Dara 70), Nuron, V Samnang (Senteang 60). Subs not used: S Samnang, Ponvuthy, K Chhaya, T Chhaya. Bookings: Titchhy. MOTM: Mesa.

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