Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Twice in a week

Academy 2. Back Row LtoR: Titchhy, Sodavid, Soksela, Sovann, Chanpolin. Front Row: Senteang, T Chhaya, Muslim, Chansopheak, Nuron, Phearath. 
The Svay Rieng club seem to have the Indian Sign over Phnom Penh Crown this week, after their U-16 team beat the Crown Academy 2 team 1-0 in the final of the Cambodia Football Development League U-16 Championship earlier this morning at the RSN Stadium. On Saturday their senior team upset the Crown senior team in the Metfone C-League play-off semi-final and today, the Svay Rieng U-16s turned the form book on its head to win. The match, two halves of thirty minutes each, as expected, was a cagey affair with neither team producing much goalmouth action though the visitors picked up two bookings for rough challenges early on. Crown's Yeu Muslim dragged the best chance of the first-half wide of the mark just before the break with a left-foot shot from Long Phearath's ball forward. The stalemate continued well into the second half until ten minutes before the end, a long ball caught out the home defence and Kunthea Ravann slotted in what turned out to be the winning goal. Despite six minutes of added on time after the Svay Rieng team repeatedly faked injury, the win gave the former Preah Khan Reach club a hat-trick of CFDL titles at U-12, U-14 and U-16 levels in the competition's debut season. 
In the first half of the season, the Academy 2 team reigned supreme with six wins out of six, including a 4-1 thrashing of Svay Rieng in March. After the Academy were accepted into the Asean U-15 Champions Trophy, the league campaign was shelved and play-offs were introduced with the Academy 2 getting to the final at the expense of their Academy 1 teammates. But today, they couldn't repeat the thumping of earlier in the season. Academy coach Bouy Dary had this to say at the final whistle. "I’m disappointed of course, they weren’t better than us but we didn’t concentrate 100% for the whole game and were not good enough to win today. We allowed them to cross the ball too much and didn’t press them quick enough when they had the ball, which is how they scored. We weren’t as fresh as we could’ve been as we have played a lot this month but I was happy that we fought until the end. For me, the difference between us is that we focus more on development than winning the title, if we wanted to win this cup we would’ve put only one team in the competition. Winning in the future is important but not at this stage of their development. Now we will concentrate on our game this Saturday (in Malaysia) and learn from the mistakes we made today." 
Svay Rieng celebrate their success this morning with the CFDL Trophy

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