|PPCFC v Naga, back row, LtoR: Polo, Thierry, Sokthorn, Boris, Srin, Ary. Front: Da, Pisa, Sokheng, Boran, Chetra - click to enlarge|
Coach Sam Schweingruber used another 7 trialists in this afternoon's practice match at RSN Stadium as he continues his search for a squad to compete in the upcoming Hun Sen Cup. Unable to use the Academy players as they are already in the competition under the banner of Chroy Changvar, Schweingruber's squad, depleted by the suspension of four regulars from last season's line-up, has taken on a fresh look with the recent addition of new faces. For today's practice match with NagaCorp he started with three newcomers and used the others during the three periods of thirty minutes, while injury robbed him of the services of Sos Suhana, Leng Makara and Ouk Sothy. Naga put out their strongest line-up of locals, though chances were few and far between for the opening period. On 11 minutes an underhit Ngoy Srin back pass allowed Sun Sovannrithy to skip past Yok Ary, but he blasted the ball across the face of goal and wide. Crown's only real opportunity was a Bin Thierry free-kick that Samreth Seiha punched clear under pressure. Seven minutes after the break another Thierry free-kick found its way to Chey Chetra and his touch into the path of Chhom Pisa, saw the full-back blast the ball into the net from 12 yards for the opening goal. Naga's response saw Sovannrithy's shot deflected into the arms of Ary by Thourng Da's challenge. For the final period, both sides put on a couple of their foreign contingent to liven matters up and it worked. George Bisan took a pass from Adriano Pellegrino but screwed his shot across the face of goal, while Da headed clear from Baldwin Ngwa's effort. Crown keeper San Usarphea acrobatically turned a shot around the post as Barry Lelouma caused a few uneasy moments, and then Kok Boris went on a fifty-yard sprint upfield and Bisan flashed another shot across the six-yard box as a result. The Nigerian striker was on target with two minutes remaining when Pellegrino's raking pass to the far post fell at the feet of the striker and he buried the ball inside the net. Game over. In the final seconds, Va Sokthorn found Pellegrino and his sweetly-struck shot from 20 yards crashed against the crossbar and bounced behind the goal-line, though both referee and linesman missed it and play was waved on.
PPCFC v Naga: Ary (Usarphea 61), Pisa, Da, Boris, Srin (Matnorotin 31), Thierry (Lee 61), Sokheng, Sokthorn, Chetra (Chaly 61), Boran (Bisan 61), Polo (Tola 31 (Pellegrino 61)). Goals: Pisa (37), Bisan (88).