Friday, October 18, 2013

Crown go down to 1st defeat

PPCFC v BBU. Back Row LtoR: Pisa, Keo, Turdera, Hutchinson, Boris, Phearun. Front Row: Sarak, Makara, Soksela, Sokheng, Tola - click to enlarge
Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his younger squad players the opportunity to shine in this afternoon's practice match against Build Bright United at the Army Stadium. Losing 1-0 meant it didn't quite go to plan but confirmed that a lot more work, both physical and mental, is needed to improve the squad ahead of the upcoming season that begins in the middle of December. Most of the players who started the game against the Cambodian U-23s yesterday were on the sidelines today, giving a first start to youth goalkeeper Keo Soksela and a number of players, who normally only see game-time as a substitute. Two of Crown's trialists started but Kyle King was absent with an eye infection. BBU made their intentions clear with only sixteen seconds on the clock as they fired a warning shot past the upright. Eight minutes in and a Kok Boris mistake nearly let in Pich Sina, only for Soksela to save at his feet. The youth stopper held onto three more long range efforts easily enough but watched helpless as Prum Putsethy's 20-yard strike crashed against the cross-bar. Little was seen of Crown as an attacking force until on 36 minutes Marcelo Turdera was denied twice with efforts after Leng Makara's lay-off. Seng Kosen struck the foot of the post at the other end, but Makara should've done better when Liam Hutchinson's pass picked him out in space at the far post, only for him to shoot into the midriff of  Sos Proshim.

A minute after the restart Makara broke clear and his cross was just inches away from connecting to Touch Sokheng's head. Turdera's free-kick was rolled into the path of Bun Keo but his drive cleared the cross-bar by a foot. BBU's Putsethy headed into Soksela's hands when it seemed easier to score and Sokheng aimed a fierce drive over the bar from outside the box. With Oum Tola miskicking in front of goal at one end of the pitch, BBU broke quickly on the counter-attack and Pich Sina had the simple task of poking the ball in from close range for the only goal of the game on 65 minutes. A flurry of substitutions by Crown failed to have the desire effect though Khim Borey broke clear only to be denied by Proshim's quick dash from his goal-line. That was the last of the goal-mouth activity and Crown went down to their first pre-season defeat. Three Academy youngsters saw action as substitutes with Orn Chanpolin, Sraing Titchhy and Seut Baraing getting valuable match-time and coping well in senior company.
PPCFC v BBU: Soksela (Ary 77), Sarak (Dara 72), Keo (Titchhy 62), Boris (Pheng 77), Hutchinson (Chanpolin 45), Sokheng (Morslim 68), Pisa (Srin 32 (Baraing 77)), Phearun (Sothy 26 (Obadin 77)), Makara (Sosela 77), Tola (Sokumpheak 77), Turdera (Borey 77). Subs not used: Da. Booking: None. MOTM: Boris - looked assured and many interceptions.

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