Saturday, January 3, 2015

Close encounter

PPCFC, back row, LtoR: Sokthorn, Thierry, Boris, Pisa, Chaly, Usarphea. Front Row: Da, Sothy, Sokheng, Tola, Srin - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 5 Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 4 (Friendly).
This afternoon's internal friendly match at RSN Stadium was full of fireworks and goals. The senior Crown team held on to win 5-4 but the Academy put up a great fightback and nearly clinched a draw, as both sides took their Hun Sen Cup preparation seriously. The Academy kick-off their cup matches next Thursday whilst the seniors must wait until later in the month. Both sides were without players with a Muslim holiday taking away three of the senior regulars, and injury robbing the Academy of some of their squad. Sam Schweingruber used the opportunity to give game-time to a few trialists, of whom Chey Chetra shone. The match started at a frantic pace and on six minutes the seniors took the lead. Um Tola threaded a pass through to Va Sokthorn, he avoided a Sraing Titchhy tackle and swept the ball past Kung Chanvuthy. Four minutes later Lous Chaly brought down In Sodavid and Seut Baraing tucked away the penalty kick with ease to level the score. Chanvuthy was alert to deny two close range efforts from Thourng Da, but couldn't stop Ouk Sothy's far post header from Touch Sokheng's corner as the senior team went ahead again on 17 minutes. Chances went begging at both ends, with Sath Rozak spurning a golden opportunity, and Sokheng doing likewise. On 28 minutes, the Academy were level again when keeper San Usarphea's weak clearance was returned with accuracy from 20 yards by Mat Sakrovy. 2-2. Sokthorn's snap-shot was cleared by the head of Pov Ponvuthy before Tola added a goal on his return to the club he left early last year. Bin Thierry's high center was dropped by Chanvuthy and Tola was on hand to smash the ball home on the half hour. Both Sodavid and Baraing had free-kick's from distance held by Usarphea, before the senior team took a commanding lead two minutes into injury time at the end of the first period of three 35-minute halves. A Thierry corner to the near post was headed firmly past Chanvuthy by Chhom Pisa to make it 4-2.

There was a lack of goalmouth activity until the 24th minute of the second period when a neat move involving Tola and Ngoy Srin gave Chey Chetra the chance to roll the ball inside the far post with a smart finish. Chanvuthy then came to the rescue to deny Sokheng, Tola and a fizzer from Sokthorn, which the stopper palmed over the bar with a flying stop. In the final period, the Academy piled on the pressure, helped by a red card for Thierry, for kicking the ball away, on 81 minutes. Orn Chanpolin fired wide and Sodavid's drive was held by Usarphea. Sokthorn rolled a shot inches wide at the other end but it was effectively one-way traffic despite the addition of three foreigners in the seniors line-up. Pisa's knee stopped Mat Noron's effort and then Chetra got in the way of another shot from the winger. Chhuot Senteang had two good chances but failed to find the target before the youngsters got a goal back on 100 minutes. Noron set up Sodavid and he calmly slotted the ball into the corner. Five minutes later and nerves fraying, Long Phearath's ball over the top was taken in his stride by Yeu Muslim and his cool finish under pressure made it 5-4. With the seniors hanging on, the final whistle went to bring down the curtain on a thoroughly entertaining friendly.
PPCFC seniors: Usarphea, Pisa, Da (Sokleng 94), Boris (Obadin 71), Srin (Chaly 64 (Pellegrino 71)), Thierry (Chetra 36), Sothy, Chaly (Sokleng 36 (Thierry 71)), Sokheng (Boris 80), Sokthorn (Srin 83), Tola (Lee 71).
PPCFC U-17s: Chanvuthy, Noeut, Baraing (Phearath 68), Titchhy (Noron 90), Chanpolin, Sakrovy (Rozak 85), Rozak (Chanchav 55), Sodavid, Ponvuthy (Senteang 68), Noron (V Samnang 71), Senteang (Muslim 45). Yellow card: Chaly. Red card : Thierry (81). Goals: (Seniors) Sokthorn (6), Sothy (17), Tola (30), Pisa (35+2), Chetra (59): (Academy) Baraing (10 pen), Sakrovy (28), Sodavid (100), Muslim (105).
PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Sakrovy, Senteang, Sodavid, Chanpolin, Titchhy. Chanvuthy. Front Row: Rozak, Noron, Noeut, Ponvuthy, Baraing - click to enlarge

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