|PPCFC U-17 starting XI. Back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Sovann, Chanvuthy, Sodavid, Sakrovy, Titchhy (capt). Front: Chansopheak, Nuron, Muslim, Phearath, Ponvuthy.|
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17 team were determined to wipe away the memory of a defeat to arch rivals Svay Rieng in their previous game, by meting out another footballing lesson, this time to a hapless Army Youth Hope team, that did well to keep the final score below double figures. With the match played on a partly-waterlogged Dept of Sport & PE pitch in Tuol Kork, Army failed to register a shot on target for the whole ninety minutes and had to endure wave upon wave of Crown attacks in both halves. They must've longed for the final whistle, which finally came in darkness as the match kicked off later than arranged. With Army on the back foot from the beginning, Mat Nuron fired into the side netting and then had a long range effort tipped around the post. Captain Sraing Titchhy punished the cross-bar with a 25-yard free-kick just moments before Ken Chansopheak gave Crown the lead on 21 minutes. It was a goal made by one full-back and scored by the other. Long Phearath danced his way around three defenders and crossed for Chansopheak to arrive at just the right time and steer the ball home. Six minutes later and Yeu Muslim nipped in with a clinical finish after a defender had failed to clear Mat Sakrovy's header for number two. Five minutes before half-time, another Phearath break on the left flank gave Pov Ponvuthy Crown's third goal after the full-back's cross was headed out to him fifteen yards from goal. A controversial decision by the referee, two minutes later - which he would repeat in the 2nd half - came to nothing as Muslim was hauled down as he raced through, only for a yellow card to be shown, despite it being a last man and clear goalscoring opportunity. The decision was simply wrong and for him to repeat it later in the match, shows that the referee doesn't understand one of the basic laws of the game. There was still time for Ouk Sovann to send his free-kick onto the bar though Nuron was flagged offside as he headed in the rebound.
With Crown camped in the final third of the pitch, there was no let up for the beleaguered Army backline. Their keeper kept out a Nuron drive and then spilled In Sodavid's shot which Muslim tapped home, but the flag was raised again. Three illegal Army tackles in the box went unpunished as Men Piphop fired against the upright before Crown netted again on 68 minutes. Sakrovy showed a lovely touch as he sploshed his way around three players in the waterlogged penalty area and finished with some style from Piphop's pass. On the half-hour Army were down to ten men for a second yellow card after Vat Samnang was pulled to the ground. Nine minutes from time Theang Chhaya chased and crossed for Suon Noeut to finish and less than a minute later, Noeut was brought down as he raced through, only for the referee to get it wrong again, with just a yellow card. At least there was some justice as Titchhy took aim and slotted the free-kick past the wall and into the far corner. Samnang was giving the Army the runaround and avoided two tackles before setting up Noeut for his second five minutes from time. Two minutes from the end, and in deepening gloom, Samnang took the ball around the last defender and made no mistake to give Crown a well-deserved 8-0 victory.
PPCFC U-17s v Army: Chanvuthy, Chansopheak, Phearath, Sovann, Titchhy, Chanpolin, Sodavid, Sakrovy (T Chhaya 78), Nuron (V Samnang 69), Ponvuthy (Piphop 60), Muslim (Noeut 59). Subs not used: Soksela, Chanchav, K Chhaya, Senteang. MOTM: Titchhy - rock solid in defence and dangerous in offense. Goals: Chansopheak (21), Muslim (27), Ponvuthy (39), Sakrovy (68), Noeut (81, 85), Titchhy (83), Samnang (88).
|Goalscorer Yeu Muslim takes a half-time breather|
|Listening intently to the coach is Ken Chansopheak and Pov Ponvuthy (9)|