Saturday, November 16, 2013

Opening setback

PPCFC v Nanning Runhua. Back Row LtoR: Borey (capt), Pheng, Hutchinson, Boris, Srin, Ary. Front Row: Da, Sosela, Sokumpheak, Sokheng, Sothy
Phnom Penh Crown's adventures in China, in the city of Nanning in southern Guangxi province, didn't exactly get off to an auspicious start yesterday, when they were beaten 3-0 by Guangxi Nanning Runhua FC in the first match of the, wait for it, Huanglongju Real Estate Cup - The 2nd Nanning Asean International Football Invitation Tournament, featuring teams from Vietnam, Laos, Korea, China and of course Cambodia. It just so happens that the team facing Crown were the 2012 All China Champions League winners, which means they are the top amateur team in a country of 1.35 billion inhabitants. Obviously not a team to be taken lightly. Sam Schweingruber's men have a chance to redeem themselves when they meet Laos Youth this afternoon. The Crown head coach had this to say about yesterday's defeat. "They knew the hard and bouncy pitch, they were physically very strong and a good side. For the first 25 minutes we looked the better side before we fell behind to their only chance of the half. Thierry came on after half an hour and was very unlucky with a couple of chances before the break. Ten minutes into the 2nd half and we weren't well organized at a corner and conceded another. Five minutes later we didn't clear the danger when we had the chance and they made us pay again. Thierry and Borey went close to scoring but it was not to be. End result, we lost 3-nil, lots of things to learn especially not to give the opponents gift goals. Looks likely that Makara, Sosela and Hutchinson will not play today and two others are questionable."
PPCFC v Nanning: Ary, Da, Pheng (Sarak 80), Srin, Boris, Hutchinson (Kyle 46), Sothy (Thierry 30), Sokheng, Sosela (Keo 80), Borey, Sokumpheak (Sophat 80).
Guangxi Nanning Runhua FC, all Chinese champions in 2012, beat PPCFC 3-0

The PPCFC squad arrive at the stadium for morning training

The PPCFC squad before they take off for China, at Phnom Penh airport

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