Friendly Result: PPCFC 1 Nagaworld 1.
In this afternoon's pre-season friendly match at the RSN training pitch, both teams scored in the second period of three thirty-minute halves to end the game all-square at one goal apiece. PPCFC used more than thirty players, those on contracts and others on trial and it was one of the trialists, Khmer-Belgian Am Sovythang, who drilled in the equaliser for Crown on 55 minutes after Long Boran's corner was headed down by Michael Osei Tutu, another new face. The leveller came seven minutes after Naga took a fortunate lead when a 25-yard free-kick from Sun Sopanha looped off the back of Osei Tutu and nestled in the far corner, deceiving Spanish goalkeeper Abel Yebenes. Both PPCFC goalkeepers Yebenes and Keo Soksela had to save sharply on a couple of occasions, whilst Crown's best efforts in front of goal fell to Baldwin Ngwa, Kelechi George a couple of times, and Matthew Rhoda.
New coach Oriol Mohedano spoke of his delight at the end of his first game in charge, a 1-1 draw with Nagaworld yesterday. "My last word to the players was to go out and 'enjoy' the game. Despite a low rhythm, I was pleased as the players tried to play football, and it was good because all players got game-time. I'm happy as we have something to work with and we can do something great. We have to work more on conditioning, but I prefer that the brain is fit, ready to work and understand what's required. I was happy with the mentality of each of the players, they are ready to work hard, but we must be patient. We are building up to 7 February and we need to peak at that time. Today it was a little like futsal with all the changes, but we had a plan to give everyone game-time, and even though some players only had 15 minutes, it's all part of our preparation for the season."
PPCFC are pleased to announce the signing of Spanish goalkeeper Abel Yebenes for the forthcoming season. Abel is 20 years old and has played for the Catalan 1st Division clubs UE Valls and CE El Catllar in Spain for the past two seasons. He was born in Reus in the province of Tarragona in the Catalonia region of northeast Spain and began playing football at the age of four. He spent ten years with his local team La Salle Reus before joining the Academy at Gimnastic de Tarragona, now in the 2nd tier of Spanish football. He spent four years with Nastic, the last two playing in the development squad where Crown's Oriol Mohedano was an assistant coach. His younger brother is also at the Gimnastic Academy.