Saturday, April 19, 2014

One way traffic

PPCFC v Albirex, back row, LtoR: Sokheng, Borey, Sothy, Kim, Obadin, Srin. Front: Bisan, Pheng, Suhana, Sokumpheak, Yaty - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 9 Albirex Niigata PP 0 (Friendly).
After the Khmer New Year break, Crown were back in the swing of preparing for their crunch league match with NagaCorp next weekend with a practice game against Albirex Niigata at the RSN Stadium this afternoon. Injury meant there was no game-time for Bin Thierry, Kok Boris, Newton Katanha and Rafael Oliveira, though 23-year old Cameroon striker Baldwin Ngwa Afa'nwi, who has been training with the team after a stint in Vietnam was disrupted by injury, did get a run out. He's previously played in the top divisions in Cameroon, Kenya and Tunisia. The game got underway and it was soon clear that Crown were in the mood to dominate. The opening goal came on 16 minutes though by that time, Albirex goalkeeper Math Moslim had already been in the thick of the action, making good saves from Khim Borey, George Bisan and Sos Suhana. Full-back Ngoy Srin ventured upfield to claim the first goal after Kouch Sokumpheak picked out his overlapping run. Moslim managed to keep our Srin's first salvo but was helpless as the defender rattled in the rebound for the goal that Crown's early dominance warranted. A minute later, Srin was again in an advanced position but sent his half volley wide. Three minutes after the opener, Bisan won a challenge and fed Borey, who quickly spotted a gap in the Albirex defenses and lashed in a 25-yard effort that didn't even give Moslim time to react. With the match set at four periods of thirty minutes each, Jeong Ho Kim also tested Moslim from close range before the first break arrived. In the second period, Crown were quickly into their stride though Kim had a header saved and blasted over the cross-bar with his next effort. The best Albirex could manage was a break by Kazuki Tatsuta, but a combination of Sou Yaty and Odion Obadin, playing again after recovering from a serious mouth injury, stopped him in his tracks. Leng Makara tried an overhead kick that went inches wide while Bisan swept past three defenders and the goalkeeper as if they weren't there, but his rolled shot was kicked off the line.

Coach Sam Schweingruber rang the changes at the start of the third period, giving a first taste of action to Baldwin Ngwa. It took the Cameroon striker just nine minutes to register his first goal and twenty minutes to claim a hat-trick. His opener arrived when he latched onto Chea Dara's through ball, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Two minutes later, he sped away from his marker on the halfway line, took a return pass from Ly Morslim and cracked in a looping drive from the edge of the box for his second. On 78 minutes, Makara burst into the penalty area after a Morslim touch had put him clear and he swept in his shot with confidence for Crown's fifth goal. Ngwa's hat-trick duly arrived on 80 minutes. Neou Sosela sent Thourng Da free on the left flank and his deep cross to the far post was met by the debutant striker, and his well-timed volley was soon nestling in the back of the net. A clinical 20-minute hat-trick to claim the matchball. Dara and Morslim both missed good opportunities before the break. In the final period, Ngwa headed over early on, Sraing Titchhy strode into the box only for his shot to be palmed aside and Morslim headed into the keeper's hands. At the other end, Keo Soksela recovered from a poor punch with a great fingertip save from Mat Hasan. On 104 minutes, Srin claimed his second as he showed quick feet to swerve around the keeper and roll in his shot after Sosela's mazy run had set him up. A minute later he was booked and substituted within the space of ten seconds. His replacement, George Bisan wrapped up the scoring with two goals of his own. With four minutes remaining, Ngwa headed Titchhy's corner onto the cross-bar and as the ball dropped, Bisan sent a half-volley inside the near post. Two minutes later, Morslim fed Bisan and the Nigerian ghosted past three players and let fly from the edge of the area for Crown's ninth. The referee blew for time a couple of minutes early to end Albirex's misery.
PPCFC v Albirex: Yaty (Ary 61 (Soksela 91)), Srin (Dara 31 (Sokheng 91)), Pheng (Da 61), Sokheng (Sovann 61), Obadin (Srin 61 (Bisan 106)), Sokumpheak (Makara 31 (Titchhy 91)), Sothy (Chanpolin 61), Suhana (Sokumpheak 61 (Kim 91)), Borey (Sosela 61), Bisan (Ngwa 61), Kim (Morslim 61). Bookings: Bisan, Srin. MOTM: Baldwin Ngwa - a 20 minute hat-trick announced his impact. Goals: Srin 2 (16, 104), Borey (19), Ngwa 3 (69, 71, 80), Makara (78), Bisan 2 (116, 118).
PPCFC starting 3rd Qtr, back row, LtoR: Ngwa, Makara, Dara, Sosela, Sovann, Srin. Front Row: Ary, Sokumpheak, Morslim, Chanpolin, Da - click to enlarge

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