Saturday, June 28, 2014

Academy success at home

PPCFC Academy v Guangdong, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Chanpolin, Sodavid, Chhaya, Titchhy, Sovann (capt). Front Row: Baraing, Chansopheak, Noeut, Piphop, Ponvuthy - click to enlarge
Match Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy 2 Guangdong FA (China) 1 (Asia U-16 Champions Trophy).
The Crown Academy were still searching for their first win at home, with two victories on the road already chalked up, and they faced bottom of the table Guangdong from China, without a point from their matches so far. Chhuot Senteang was on the bench with a leg injury, so Sraing Titchhy took his place in attack. The pitch was slippery with Crown seeing the lion's share of the ball and Guangdong conceding a string of early free-kicks. Suon Noeut fired well wide early on, Titchhy had a shot blocked and Seut Baraing's free-kick was grabbed low down by the visiting keeper. Crown were using the flanks to good effect and Kim Chhaya's cross was laid back by Titchhy, only for In Sodavid's shot to lack the power to test the keeper. Titchhy was snuffed out as he shaped to shoot and then keeper Pang Jiajun collected Noeut's cross off the striker's toes. It was all Crown until Guangdong had a great chance on 17 minutes but Svang Samnang was alert to deny visiting captain Chen Guokang. Moments later and Titchhy's drilled 20-yard drive was pushed out by Jiajun, who was also equal to Noeut's goal-bound effort, tipping it over the cross-bar. Sodavid saw another attempt clear the bar before Crown finally made their dominance count just two minutes before the break. Titchhy and Orn Chanpolin combined with some neat touches and Chanpolin looked up before sending a dipping drive over Jiajun's head from twenty yards out for the game's opening goal. Crown continued to push on with another Sodavid effort going straight to Jiajun and Titchhy's left-foot effort taking a deflection across the face of goal.

Crown came out strongly at the start of the second-half with Chhaya sending a 25-yard free-kick straight at Jiajun and Noeut causing problems on the flanks, with Jiajun punching his dangerous cross clear. Titchhy was set up by Men Piphop but miskicked under pressure, before the visitors stunned the home crowd into silence. Fifteen minutes into the second period and some sloppy defending allowed Li Guohao to cross, Yang Quan's shot was pushed out by Samnang only for Li Canming to be waiting to tap the ball home at the far post. The equaliser had come against the run of play, which prompted Crown coach Bouy Dary to ring the changes, with top scorer Senteang sent on to add power up front. Titchhy burst into action with a dazzling run but his shot was blocked, with Senteang setting up Chhaya, whose shot was held at the second attempt. Moments later Senteang charged down a clearance by Guokang and found himself one on one with Jiajun, but the keeper stood his ground and kept out the striker's shot with his body. With seven minutes of the game remaining, off-the-ball fisticuffs in the Crown penalty area saw home substitute Mat Sakrovy cautioned and Guangdong skipper Guokang red-carded for his second offence. It was just the encouragement the home side needed. With their next attack, Chhaya's long corner to the far post saw Baraing arrive late and the central defender smashed his shot past Jiajun without hesitation, with just four minutes left to play. The crowd erupted, though they were less vocal moments later as Yao Yongrun shaped to shoot, only for Ouk Sovann to dive in to block the effort just six yards from goal. There was still time for Sakrovy to fire wide and for Chhaya to see his shot touched onto the foot of the post by Jiajun, who then caught Noeut's long range effort at the second attempt. The match ended with Crown collecting their first win on home soil in the Asia U-16 Champions Trophy and leaving coach Dary to comment: "First-half we played okay and created some chances but didn't have enough numbers in the box. We changed some players in the second-half and we deserved to win. But at the start of the second-half we were not good at all. We were asleep but woke up after they scored and created a few chances. We should be happy with the result but we know we can do better. We remain in 3rd position and for the last 3 games we have to fight really hard." 
PPCFC Academy v Guangdong: S Samnang, Chansopheak (Chanchav 75), K Chhaya (Muslim 90+4), Baraing, Sovann, Chanpolin, Sodavid (Rozak 90+3), Piphop, Ponvuthy (Senteang 70), Noeut, Titchhy (Sakrovy 80). Subs not used: Chanvuthy, T Chhaya. Booking: Sakrovy. MOTM: In Sodavid - powerhouse performance. Goals: Chanpolin (43), Baraing (86).

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