Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reverse on the road

PPCFC v Frenz: Back Row LtoR: Sovann, Senteang, Baraing, S Samnang, Chanpolin, K Chhaya. Front Row: Nuron, Noeut, Rozak, Sodavid, Ponvuthy.
For their final away game of the FAM-Frenz U-15 Asean Champions Trophy experience, the Phnom Penh Crown Academy boys travelled to Pahang in Malaysia to meet the joint organisers, Frenz Malaysia A. The match was played at 8.45pm Cambodian-time this evening and screened live on tv both in Malaysia and here in Cambodia. Coach Bouy Dary made a few changes to his line-up with Suon Noeut, Kim Chhaya and Sath Rozak coming in for their first starts in the competition. It was clear from the beginning that Frenz would use the high ball to put Crown under pressure and so it proved, though it was Orn Chanpolin who headed wide early on from Seut Baraing's free-kick. Pov Ponvuthy was well-placed to clear Naaim Razak's header off the goal-line from a corner and a few minutes later the same player headed against the top of the upright as Frenz piled on the pressure. Crown's Chhuot Senteang could've done better on 24 minutes when he stabbed Chanpolin's pass wide of the mark but two minutes later, the home side grabbed the lead. Abdul Ismawi's cross from the right was met by the steaming run and head of Hafi Zuki, which gave Svang Samnang no chance in the Crown goal. The keeper came out to snuff out danger at the foot of  Zuki soon after and then  Akhmar Haiqal took the ball around the prone stopper, only to foul Noeut wiuth the goal at his mercy.

Two off the ball incidents left Crown's Senteang and Rozak lying on the ground but the match officials saw nothing. Television replays showed a punch to the back of Rozak's head out of the referee's view. Frenz were determined to win at all costs. Samnang saved low from Ismawi's drive but was beaten again on 38 minutes. Haziq Hossain's through ball saw Haiqal fend off Ouk Sovann's attentions and slip the ball past Samnang for their 2nd goal. As the first-half came to a close, Mat Nuron's cross gave Ponvuthy a sight of goal but his shot was blocked by a combination of keeper Adam Zaini and a defender. With the last kick of the half, Frenz's Razak missed from a yard out as his team went in two goals up at the break. Ten minutes after the re-start and Frenz celebrated their third goal of the night. The Crown defence were caught ball-watching as Ismawi's long ball arrowed through the middle and Haiqal raced onto it and slipped it wide of Samnang. Effectively it was game over, though a minute later Nuron fed Senteang but his first-time effort went wide. Much of the second half was even-steven, with numerous substitutions and cautions by the Thai referee interrupting the flow of the game. As the match fizzled out both Baraing and Sovann sent long range free-kicks over the cross-bar while Akmal Aziz struck the post for Frenz, who moved into third place with their victory.

Crown coach Bouy Dary spoke of the plus points these matches bring for his young team. "There have been a lot of benefits playing in this competition. We haven't been involved in such an international tournament before and our boys have improved a lot from the first game, they are fitter and have a better understanding. These boys will play for the Cambodia national U-16 team, so these matches give us greater experience and we now know where we are in comparison to other countries. This is important to us." PPCFC Academy line-up v Frenz: S Samnang, Noeut, K Chhaya, Baraing, Sovann, Chanpolin (Muslim), Sodavid, Rozak (Piphop), Ponvuthy (Sakrovy), Nuron (Titchhy), Senteang (V Samnang). Subs not used: Mesa, Chansopheak, Phearath, Chanchav. Bookings: Noeut, Chanpolin, Titchhy. MOTM: S Samnang. In other ACT matches tonight, Thailand's Chonburi went top with a 4-1 win over Singapore and Vietnam's PVF went 2nd beating Timor-Leste 7-1. Crown have 2 more matches to play in the competition, both at home. They entertain NFA Singapore on Tuesday (23 July) at 4pm and Vietnam PVF on Saturday (27 July), also at 4pm, with both games at the Olympic Stadium.

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