Monday, August 19, 2013

Myanmar bound

The U-16 boys ready for takeoff from Phnom Penh airport - click to enlarge
The Cambodian U-16s are in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, ahead of their opening AFF U-16 Youth Championship match against Australia at 4.30pm Cambodian-time tomorrow. The 20-strong squad left Phnom Penh on Sunday morning. They are housed at the SEA Games athlete's village, which has been built for the upcoming Southeast Asia Games in December but the simple, basic conditions have not found favour with at least four of the U-16 teams - Singapore, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia - who have moved out to nearby hotels.

The National Women's Championships have been taking place at the Olympic Stadium this past weekend and with just eight teams taking part, the semi-finalists have already been decided. And they do not include Phnom Penh Crown Ladies. However, that doesn't come as a surprise as the team was hastily-assembled after initially being barred from the competition. An eleventh-hour invitation from the federation saw an emergency call go out to the Battambang-based Salt Academy and a squad of young hopefuls was put together under coach Tes Sophat. The original Crown squad, who'd taken part in two recent tournaments, had all switched their allegiance to TriAsia Kandal when the federation had initially snubbed Crown. The new-look Crown girls lost 2-0 to Kompong Thom in their opening game, earned themselves a very creditable 0-0 draw with Phnom Svay of Banteay Meanchey, and on Sunday went down 2-0 in their final group outing, against their alter ego, TriAsia, despite dominating the game for long periods. The dominant Mighty Girls of Battambang are expected to lift the trophy later in the week.
The Phnom Penh Crown Ladies, who didn't qualify for the semi-finals - click to enlarge

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