Sunday, January 11, 2015

Third time lucky

Chroy Changvar, back row, LtoR: Chanchav, Sovann, Soksela, Titchhy, Senteang, Chanpolin. Front: Chhaya, Rozak, Samnang, Sodavid, Phearath - click to enlarge
Result: Chroy Changvar (Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s) 3 Tuol Kork (Svay Rieng B) 2 (Hun Sen Cup).
The Academy U-17s finished their Hun Sen Cup competition with a victory over old foes Svay Rieng, though both teams played under the name of city districts, in their first real taste of senior football. The Academy's two previous defeats to Kirivong and Albirex meant they could not qualify for the next round of the competition, so coach Bouy Dary made a number of personnel changes. Crown controlled the match for long periods with Tuol Kork offering token resistance with counterattacks. Sraing Titchhy missed a Kim Chhaya cross by inches and Chhuot Senteang's 25-yard effort crashed against the cross bar but without goal-line technology it was impossible to know if the ball crossed the line as it bounced down. An error by Choun Chanchav gifted the ball to Tuol Kork and An Sokchea made him pay with a sweet strike into the far corner for a goal against the run of play on 21 minutes. That quickly led to two competent saves from Sem Mesa in the Tuol Kork goal, a former Crown keeper, as he denied In Sodavid's long range effort and then Long Phearath's burst into the box. The expected equaliser arrived on 31 minutes as Ouk Sovann produced yet another of his trademark free-kick specials, getting the ball over the wall and the keeper's despairing dive with pace and precision from 20 yards out. Lionel Messi would've been proud of him. Keo Soksela made himself big to deny Sokchea with the last kick of the half as the teams went in level. 

Just 29 seconds into the second-half and Senteang raced clear onto Yeu Muslim's pass and rolled in his team's second with consummate ease. Muslim's shot lacked power to beat Mesa, while Soksela was down quickly to deny Sokchea at the near post. Sath Rozak poked in number three from close range after Sodavid's shot was saved by Mesa on 70 minutes. Chhaya's 30-yard run along the left flank sliced open the Tuol Kork defence to create the opening. Cheam Ratana nicked a goal back eight minutes later as the Academy failed to clear their lines but the Academy were on top and only another great save from Mesa denied Sodavid from netting at close range. Pov Ponvuthy was also denied by the keeper who then watched Senteang's audacious 35-yard lob sail just inches over the bar. A deserved success for Crown, though too late to progress to the next stage of the Hun Sen Cup, as Kirivong claimed top spot with a 1-0 win over Albirex.
Chroy Changvar (PPCFC U-17s): Soksela, Sovann (Noeut 46), Phearath, V Samnang, Chanchav, Chanpolin, Sodavid, Rozak (Ponvuthy 83), Chhaya, Titchhy (Muslim 46), Senteang. Subs not used: Chanvuthy, Sakrovy, Chansopheak, Baraing, Noron, Piphop. Goals: Sovann (31), Senteang (46), Rozak (70). MOTM: Chanpolin.

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