|PPCFC v BBU, back row, LtoR: Borey, Boris, Obadin, Kotamake, Sokthorn, Ary. Front: Chanpolin, Bosma, Matnorotin, Chhaya, Pisa - click to enlarge|
Phnom Penh Crown failed to find the net in this afternoon's practice match with BBU at the RSN Stadium, despite having more possession and creating numerous chances, especially in the third of three 35 minute halves. The Crown squad was without 11 players, either on the injured list or away with the national team, so there were starting places for Va Sokthorn, who arrived from France a few days earlier, and two of the club's Academy players. Koen Bosma's free-kick opened up the BBU backline on fifteen minutes but Sary Matnorotin headed well over from a good position. Bosma then supplied Khim Borey but he hesitated and allowed the BBU keeper to recover the ball. The same pair combined soon after with Borey heading over the crossbar from ten yards out. Sokthorn had his first attempt, controlling Bosma's chip but sending his shot high and wide. The final chance of the first half, one of three 35 minute periods, fell to Borey who brought down Matnorotin's long ball with ease but sent his chip inches wide of the upright with the keeper off his line. Yok Ary was out quickly to tackle BBU's first foray in the second half, but it was Borey who again fired wide from Sokthorn's neat pass. BBU capitalised on a sloppy piece of defending by Crown as Rim Bunheang's shot from twenty yards found the corner of the net with 50 minutes played. It was a lead that BBU would not relinquish despite spending the rest of the game on the back foot. Crown fluffed two more good opportunities before the end of the second-half. First, Bosma's chip sent Borey in on goal but he shot well over, and then a Bosma free-kick was headed wide by Leng Makara as he was challenged by the keeper.
Coach Sam Schweingruber continued to ring the changes, introducing three more Academy players amongst his substitutions. In the third half, Crown completely dominated but lacked a killer touch in front of goal, with strikers George Bisan and Baldwin Ngwa, both injured, watching from the stand. Borey, playing as a central striker for the first time in a long while, was guilty again when put through by Matnorotin, and fired across the face of goal. Touch Sokheng then teed up Matnorotin, who was free in the middle but steered his goal attempt wide of the target. Soon after the same player saw his drive saved by keeper Sos Proshim, who kept his team in the match with a series of stops late on. Borey sent a free-kick wide of the upright, Makara again headed wide, a Ly Morslim diving header was deflected into Proshim's hands, and then Chhom Pisa, in acres of free space, lobbed his shot wide as well. With the final two chances of the game, Bosma's 20-yard free-kick was finger-tipped over by Proshim and with the last kick of the game, a corner fell to Odion Obadin and his acrobatic overhead kick was again saved by the keeper with another touch over the crossbar. The final whistle blew and BBU recorded a 1-nil success.
PPCFC v BBU: Ary (Soksela 71), Pisa (Dara 36 (Sovann 71)), Chhaya (Sodavid 36 (Makara 90)), Boris (Kotamake 57 (Boris 90)), Obadin, Chanpolin (Morslim 71), Kotamake (Sokheng 36), Sokthorn (Baraing 71), Matnorotin (Makara 36 (Matnorotin 71)), Bosma (Pisa 71), Borey (Bosma 90). Bookings: None.
This afternoon's practice match gave Va Sokthorn (pictured below) the opportunity to start his first game in Crown colours, after he arrived from France just a few days ago. Sokthorn is 27 and has lots of experience in the amateur Championnat de France leagues, the fourth tier of the French football system, with teams like ES Torcy, FC Montceau Bourgogne, US Motte Servolex, SO Chambery Foot 73 and last season scored 17 goals in 14 matches for Le Creusot JO. His Khmer parents are from Kratie and Prey Veng, though he was born in Le Creusot in eastern France. Sokthorn signed his contract in July, when he successfully completed his try-out.
|Va Sokthorn, another French-Khmer player to join our ranks|