Friday, November 22, 2013

Chupe makes his mark

PPCFC v AEU: Back row, LtoR: Mariano, Bisan, Guerrero, Soksela, Obadin, Thierry. Front Row: Sarak, Dara, Keo, Ndougou, Chupe - click to enlarge
Coach Sam Schweingruber and his Phnom Penh Crown players returned from their Chinese adventures yesterday afternoon and eleven of the team were given this morning off, as the remainder of the squad took on Asia Euro University in a practice match at RSN Stadium. Included in the starting line-up, Schweingruber had a first look at two of the Guam-based players, Ian Mariano and Scott Leon Guerrero, with a third, Marcus Lopez sidelined with a knee injury, as well as another new face, Francisco Salvador Ela, better know as Chupe. The striker who spent 13 years in the third tier of Spanish football after a spell at Real Madrid, was soon in action, sending a speculative first time shot across the face of goal. On 20 minutes he registered his first shot on target and first goal after receiving a pass from Arsene Ndougou before unleashing a dipping drive from just inside the edge of the box. Not a bad way to start a trial with an new club. Eight minutes later he should've really netted a second but he took took long to get his strike away after rounding the keeper and a defender, but his effort was blocked. On the half hour Guerrero looked set to score but his close range header from  Bin Thierry's free-kick went straight to the keeper. On the stroke of half-time, AEU fired wide of an open goal to show they wouldn't succumb quietly. Six minutes after the break, Mariano was cursing his luck when he manged to hit the base of the post twice in less than thirty seconds. His first was from a Chupe center and he immediately latched onto a back-pass but found his route to goal blocked by the woodwork. George Bisan went on a trademark run past three players only to send his shot fizzing wide. Thierry did likewise soon after. After a flurry of substitutions by Crown, an error of judgement by Ndougou allowed AEU a chance which they grabbed with a flourish to draw level on 74 minutes. The last word went to Chupe four minutes later when he anticipated a poor back header, rounded the keeper and tucked in the match-winner to seal a satisfactory, if unconvincing, 2-1 Crown success. Immediately following the game, Crown released Ndougou and Kyle King from their trial with the club, thanking them for their efforts over the past few weeks.
PPCFC v AEU: Soksela, Dara (Phearun 60), Keo (Boran 62), Sarak (Titchhy 78), Obadin, Thierry (Pisa 62), Bisan (Tola 62), Mariano (Morslim 78), Guerrero (King 60), Ndougou, Chupe. Subs not used: Ary. Booking: Obadin. MOTM: Chupe - 2 goals and hard-working. Goals: Chupe (20, 78).
Francisco Salvador Elá, better known as Chupe scored twice in his first match

Marcus Lopez (left), sat out the game with an injury, with Scott Leon Guerrero (middle) and Ian Mariano

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