|Academy v Frenz, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Chanpolin, Senteang, Chhaya, Chanchav, Sovann (capt). Front: Ponvuthy, Piphop, Noeut, Rozak, Baraing - click to enlarge|
For their third home match in as many weeks, the Crown Academy were looking to avenge their recent 3-2 defeat in Malyasia against one of the competition favourites. Suspension ruled out Sraing Titchhy and illness forced In Sodavid onto the bench as Crown looked to get the large crowd on their side from the start, but it was Frenz who threatened first when Mohammed Haiqal's low drive was pushed aside by Svang Samnang, making his first appearance in this season's competition. Haiqal was again a thorn to Crown as he sent a header against the foot of the upright and then missed a clear-cut chance moments later from a corner, all within the first ten minutes. Crown got back into the game with Ouk Sovann's free-kick headed wide by Orn Chanpolin and Sath Rozak's shot was blocked on its way to goal. They were really in it when Chhuot Senteang celebrated his 16th birthday by getting on the end of Sovann's curling free-kick and heading the ball inside the near post. Seventeen minutes on the clock and after a torrid opening, Crown were in front. Their lead lasted nine minutes. Frenz strung a series of one-touch passes together and gave Iman Aidiel the opportunity to strike a fierce shot from 25 yards that flew into the net for the equaliser. A fine goal. Frenz could smell blood and pressed with Samnang dropping a corner under pressure, though the keeper had absolutely no chance with Frenz's second goal that arrived on 34 minutes. A poor challenge by Men Piphop gave Mohammed Helmi a free-kick from 25 yards out, and his strike hit the back of Choun Chanchav in the defensive wall and flew over Samnang's head. Crown ended the first-half with a mini-flourish but to no avail. Chanpolin's one-two with Senteang saw the former send a shot well wide, Kim Chhaya's 35-yard free-kick also was off target and another Sovann dead-ball attempt sailed wide.
Crown had the first sight of goal after the restart but Rozak sent his attempt too high from Seut Baraing's corner after three minutes. Abdul Rahman's cross fell to Haiqal fifteen yards out but Samnang was equal to his first-time shot. The keeper was again in action as he raced out and took the ball off Mohammed Fareez's toe only for Mohammed Hafizuddin to cross to the far post, but Samnang had recovered his ground and saved Fareez's header at the foot of the post. A series of substitutions, eleven in all, broke up the flow of the game as Crown struggled to get back on level terms against their stronger and tactically-aware opponents. Baraing tried his luck from thirty yards out but without success, while Aidiel's shot from distance found Samnang more than a match. Substitute Vat Samnang's 25-yard effort went straight into the hands of Frenz keeper Zairi Adam and as the game entered stoppage time, there were opportunities at both ends. Suon Noeut's mazy run was stopped by Adam quick reactions, Fareez fired against the foot of the post for Frenz, Samnang was well-place to push away Niza Saiful's drive, and Yeu Muslim had the last kick, with a neat turn and shot from outside the box, which was held by Adam. The points belonged to Frenz, who recorded a double over the Crown Academy in the competition. Crown Academy coach Bouy Dary was upbeat after the game. "I'm quite happy with our boys, they worked really hard, we played okay, we need to improve some areas, which is okay when you play against this type of opponent. We scored a goal then conceded two - we lost the ball on transition and they scored a great goal from far out, and then their second goal hit someone, we couldn't do anything about that. I'm happy with the boys who started today, especially Samnang in goal, he did a great job, confident and calm. I'm not so happy with my substitutes though."
PPCFC v Frenz: S Samnang, Noeut, Baraing (Phearath 80), Chanchav, Sovann, Chanpolin (V Samnang 70), Rozak (Sodavid 55), Piphop, Ponvuthy (Sakrovy 64), Chhaya (Chansopheak 84), Senteang (Muslim 78). Subs not used: Chanvuthy. Bookings: None. MOTM; S Samnang - confident display. Goal: Senteang (17).