Monday, April 29, 2013

Academy beat themselves

PPCFC Academy 2. Back Row LtoR: Titchhy, Senteang, Sodavid, Soksela, Sovann, Chanpolin. Front: Chansopheak, Nuron, T Chhaya, Muslim, Phearath.
Saturday morning saw the match of the day in the Cambodia Football Development League U-16 competition as the Phnom Penh Crown Academy came face to face with itself. The league leaders, Academy 2 were up against the 2nd-placed team, Academy 1 at the club's RSN Stadium. There was little to choose between the sides for much of the first half besides an opening goal after five minutes for Academy 2. Mat Nuron squeezed in a cross from the bye-line and Yeu Muslim was on hand to poach a goal from close range. In the first minute after the restart Chhuot Senteang crashed a shot against the cross-bar whilst keeper Keo Sokseyla at the other end, pulled off a great 1-handed save from Vat Samnang's free-kick. Academy 1 went down to 10-men when Choun Chanchav limped off and Academy 2 increased their lead 20 minutes into the second period. In a repeat of the first goal, Nuron set up Muslim, who tucked his shot inside the post. Svang Samnang in the Academy 1 goal pulled off a great double save to deny Senteang and Muslim, but could only parry Senteang's last minute shot, which the striker followed up to give Academy 2 a 3-0 victory, and bragging rights for the rest of the week.
PPCFC Academy 1. Back Row LtoR: K Chhaya, S Samnang, Ronaldo, V Samnang, Baraing, Chanchav. Front: Rozak, Piphop, Ponvuthy, David, Noeut.

5-match ban

The tackle in question as both players play the ball simultaneously. Srin is in red.
Have I been living under a stone? I assumed that Ngoy Srin's red card that he received whilst playing for Phnom Penh Crown against Boeung Ket at the beginning of April was the reason he'd missed the last two matches. No, I was wrong. The Crown defender was actually handed a 5-match ban following that game. He received a 1-game ban for the red card, 1-game for clocking up two yellow cards and then a 3-game suspension for insulting behaviour to an opponent. Are the Federation completely bonkers or what? Video evidence clearly shows that Srin's tackle on Chan Vathanaka was fair, both players played the ball simultaneously. The problem stems from Vathanaka rolling on the ground, screaming his usual high-pitched squeal, conning officials as to the severity of the injury. It's something he's been developing over the past couple of seasons and is now quite good at it. Though in this match, the fact was helped by the referee being Yean Kivatana, who has no idea what takes place on the pitch at any time, hence the flashing of a yellow card. In any football match on the planet, the defender would say something to the striker rolling around on the ground, following a fair tackle. It's what happens in the heat of the the moment. Srin probably something along the lines of, "get up, you big girl's blouse," or a variation on that theme. The referee in this case saw an opportunity to make his presence felt, by whipping out his red card and Srin was dismissed for what the official viewed as insulting words. Get a life referee, you cannot be serious by compounding your original error with such a wank action. Your incompetence, combined with Vathanaka's pathetic squealing has caused Srin to miss 5 matches, that his team can ill afford. It beggar's belief.
Photographer Sovanna Kem captures the moment referee Yean Kivatana flashes his yellow card to Ngoy Srin

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Courting disaster

Phnom Penh Crown players leave the pitch yesterday. Photo courtesy of Sovanna Kem.
Two Phnom Penh Crown players, Bin Thierry (9) and Leng Makara (23) leave the pitch at half-time in yesterday's league match played at the Olympic Stadium. Very heavy rain had begun to fall midway through the first half of the match against Kirivong but when the lightning thunderbolts arrived with extremely loud claps of thunder, I fully expected the match officials to take the players off the pitch. Fat chance. Referee Khuon Virak told them to get on with it, with lightning flashing all around the vicinity of the stadium. In my opinion, his actions were totally irresponsible. As were those of the match commissioner who should've over-ruled his match officials and called the players off the park. They were sitting ducks for a lightning strike. It's happened before, 3 players were killed by lightning in 2008, so why didn't yesterday's officials learn from past mistakes? It's not rocket-science. Lightning kills hundreds of people each year in Cambodia. Everyone knows not to stand outside when lightning strikes, yet the referee felt he knew better. At the very least, he should be reprimanded by the Football Federation for his irresponsible behaviour. Then blow me down, it happened again, this afternoon. The loudest lightning/thunder strike touched down just outside the stadium and the force knocked at least three players to the floor. The referee was unmoved and simply carried on. I even heard people in the stands laughing. This has got to stop before someone is killed. I would expect all clubs to file complaints with the Federation to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Absolutely Amazing

Elroy van der Hooft steps off the pitch having netted a hat-trick on his debut
Phnom Penh Crown coach Sam Schweingruber was determined to keep his emotions in check after watching his team take the points in a 3-1 win over Kirivong, despite losing a player just before half-time. The match was ruined as a footballing spectacle by the atrocious weather conditions but Crown battled hard for the victory, helped in no small part by a hat-trick for Dutch debutant Elroy van der Hooft. "Our team performance was absolutely amazing when you see how hard everybody worked, and fought and believed that even with 1-man down we could win. After a game like this its dangerous to think everything is perfect - we must keep our feet on the ground, we need to continue to work hard, of course it was a great performance but we have lots of things to improve.
Congratulations to the team for working so hard and making it happen. An amazing game. We talked to the players during the break. We did good things at half-time, motivated them and made them believe we could win this game. We were down to ten men, everyone expected us to lose, but if we won the game, it could turn our whole season.
I hoped for a good game from our two new signings; one walked off with a hat-trick, the other gets a red card. Elroy was amazing. 1st chance 1st goal, which is what we've been lacking. We've had some good games, created chances but we didn't finish. So having someone up front who scores, wins the ball, is physically strong, holds the ball up and fights, it was beautiful to watch. I couldn't have asked for any more. For me, foreign players should lead by example - his approach to the game, if he can keep pushing like this, sacrificing his body for the team, we can go a long way."

After leaving the Crown fans wanting more, with three goals on his debut, striker Elroy van der Hooft was quick to acknowledge the part played by his teammates. "I focused before the game on winning, we needed to win, I didn't think about scoring, so to score 3 goals is like a dream come true. I must credit the success to my team, who gave me very good passes. It was difficult because of the rain but we have a very good team and shouldn't be afraid of anyone else if we play like this. The football here is more tactical, which is good as I'm used to that. I am very happy today, this is the best start I could hope for." Understating his own personal performance, Elroy battled for every ball, taking a few knocks including a first-half dead-leg which actually cast a doubt over his second-half involvement, and best of all, he found that goalscoring killer touch that has been lacking for much of the season. Now Crown fans can't wait for the next installment. 

Elroy Explodes

PPCFC line-up v Kirivong. Back Row LtoR: Obadin, Ha-Neul, Thierry, Boris, van der Hooft, Narin. Front: Seyha, Suhana, Seiha, Makara, Sokumpheak (capt) to enlarge
Now that is what I call setting down a marker on your debut, as Elroy van der Hooft bagged a hat-trick in Phnom Penh Crown's 3-1 Metfone C-League victory over Kirivong this afternoon. The Dutch striker with just a couple of training sessions under his belt and nursing a hamstring strain, announced himself in the best possible fashion and his team needed it, after getting pegged back to 1-1 and having another debutant, South Korean Lee Ha-Neul sent off just before the interval. Starting the match without his skipper Khim Borey as well as Hong Pheng and Ngoy Srin, coach Sam Schweingruber handed a first start to two of his recent signings and the captain's armband to Kouch Sokumpheak. And the first real action saw a piece of individual brilliance by one of those new faces, Elroy van der Hooft, open the scoring after ten minutes. Bin Thierry sent van der Hooft racing away on the right and with some deft footwork, he sidestepped two Kirivong defenders and coolly flicked the ball past keeper Kim Makara and inside the near post to send his teammates into raptures. The rainy season announced its early arrival with the start of a downpour that was to progressively get a lot worse and ruin the match as a footballing spectacle. On 24 minutes Kirivong got back into the game after battling work by David Njoku set up Ek Vannak and Crown keeper Samrith Seiha's fingertips could only help the ball over the line from his first-time shot. With the rain coming down in sheets, the match officials decided to carry on despite lightning flashes just outside the stadium. Anyone with a brain would've called the players off the pitch for safety reasons alone. Not referee Khuon Virak. Crown tried a few long range attempts through Sokumpheak, Odion Obadin and Thierry without much joy but found themselves with an uphill battle on their hands four minutes before the half-time break. Lee Ha-Neul had already been cautioned for a late challenge and referee Virak took an instant dislike to another of his lunging tackles on the soaking wet surface, flashing a straight red despite Savorn Ratanak Raksa quickly getting to his feet. It sent Crown into the dressing room with ten men and Kirivong rubbing their hands with glee. The usual 15-minute break was extended to 90 minutes as the rain continued to fall, covering the pitch in pools of water, until the officials decided it was okay to proceed. Anywhere else, the game would've been abandoned a long time before.

Crown started the 2nd half like a runaway train, after Seiha had dived bravely at the feet of Kirivong striker Ntim Spirit with just 18 seconds on the clock. Moments later, a Men Seyha throw-in was fired into the side-netting on the turn by van der Hooft. He was just warming up. Soon after he tried his luck from 40-yards, which Kim Makara gathered easily enough. Kirivong were unlucky to see Spirit's attempt bounce back into play off the foot of a post, but it was Crown who nosed in front, 11 minutes after the restart. Seyha found Sokumpheak and his threaded pass forward was taken in his stride by van der Hooft who cleverly fired a left-foot shot under Kim Makara to give his team the lead once more. Just four minutes later, van der Hooft and his teammates were celebrating again as the Flying Dutchman registered a debut hat-trick. Leng Makara sent Sos Suhana away on the right wing and his first-time center behind the defenders found van der Hooft steaming in to deliver the killer punch at the far post. He sank to his knees in jubilation as Crown took a 3-1 lead despite their inferior numbers. A minute later and Sokumpheak took a pass from Suhana into the box only to see Kim Makara push aside his stinging effort. A beautifully flighted Thierry free-kick was a whisker away from meeting van der Hooft's diving header as Crown pressed, though Akeem Bolaji will be disappointed his header didn't find the target at the other end. Makara rose high to head Thierry's cross inches past the far upright and then Thourng Da raced onto Makara's pass only to send his drive straight at the Kirivong keeper. With full-time fast approaching, Kirivong's Phan Bunlong was booked for a second time, for an elbow on Sokumpheak and was dismissed and despite five extra minutes, there was no way back for the Takeo-based outfit as Crown leapfrogged them into 4th place in the league standings. Certainly a debut to remember for Elroy van der Hooft, who was mobbed by Crown fans as he left the field, a new hero in their midst.
PPCFC line-up: Seiha, Boris, Seyha, Narin (Da 46), Obadin, Thierry, Suhana, Ha-Neul, Makara (Pisa 85), Sokumpheak, van der Hooft (Sothy 91). Subs not used: Ary, Ratana, Dara, Lika, Dary, Morslim, Kano, Phearun. Bookings: Ha-Neul (+ red card), Obadin, Thierry. MOTM: van der Hooft.

Friday, April 26, 2013


I'm all for getting the word out but when that puke-inducing message is obviously hype and nothing substantive, then it gets immensely irritating. TriAsia Phnom Penh FC are a newly-established club, with Japanese coffee money behind them. They have bought their way into the play-offs later this year where they expect to get promotion to the Metfone C-League for next season. In the meantime, they have been playing a few friendlies. Where the hype begins to grate is that each friendly is given a name of a cup competition and the attempt is to make it appear something much more than it really is, from television and radio coverage to half-time giveaways, music shows and cup final-style presentations at the end of the game. Who are they trying to kid? TriAsia are a team of young players who may do well in the future, but their presentation style is cringeworthy. Their opening game was in the Soken Cup, against a team from Boribo, a small town near the Tonle Sap Lake and they won 7-0 to a loud fanfare. Next they played a Muslim team from Kandal in the Brave Cup, and won 6-1. On Monday next week they meet the U-19 team from Svay Rieng under the auspices of the Sieg Cup. How about they meet NagaCorp, the Hun Sen Cup winners (which is a real competition) and call it The Cup Cup, just to keep the farce going. I'm all for a new team making their way up the football ladder fairly but the hype surrounding TriAsia is simply too much to stomach. It's a marketing strategy gone bonkers. I don't recall Boeung Ket, Senate or AEU making this fuss over nothing when they were seeking to steer a path into the top flight.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Crown look overseas

Elroy van der Hooft arrives at PPCFC
Phnom Penh Crown coach Sam Schweingruber has kept himself busy in the week long break for Khmer New Year. Assessing that his young Crown squad needed some strengthening as the second round of the Metfone C-League is just about to start, the Swiss coach decided to look overseas for a few new faces. Thwarted by clubs in the C-League not releasing players who were seeking to join Crown, he picked up a Dutch striker, the first to grace the C-League, as well as two South Korean imports looking to make a splash in Cambodia. Elroy van der Hooft earned his spurs at the famous Ajax Academy in Holland for six years before spells at other Dutch clubs, in Greece and more recently hooking up with a club in Indonesia. He has to wait to make his start over there so he's joined Crown until the end of the C-League season, to give the club an additional attacking option. The two Koreans, Lee Ha-Neul and Choi Jae-Cheol went through the Korean university system though Choi had two serious knee operations and dropped out for a stint in the Army. He's looking to get his fitness and touch back having been in the Korean national squads from age 12 to 17. Lee has just had a spell in the Japanese League, so both have an interesting pedigree. And both are attack minded players. The Crown coach knows that scoring goals has been his team's weakness in their past few games and he's looking for the new arrivals to make an impact in that area.
A welcome to Elroy from assistant coach Bouy Dary

Listening to the coaching staff, new faces Elroy (left) and Lee Ha-Neul (middle)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ASL in the limelight

The proposed Asean Super League made the headlines yesterday. Here's the basic story in
Eight teams have been confirmed for the inaugural season of the Asean Super League, with six countries to be involved when it kicks off in 2015. The Asean Football Federation, the governing body for football in Southeast Asia, has shed further light on its plans for a Super League competition by stating that the inaugural season will kick off in 2015 with an initial eight teams. The eight franchise clubs will compete in a relegation-free division with a playoff system to decide the winner. The AFF is seeking eventual expansion to 16 teams for the annual Super League, with a limit on the number of franchises awarded to the key markets of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore so that the likes of Myanmar and Laos can also compete. The season will be played from February to September so that it will not clash with the Asian Football Confederation's AFC Champions League or AFC Cup competitions. The AFF said a memorandum of understanding has been struck with its 11 member associations, while it is also keeping the AFC in the loop. The federation maintains the competition is not designed to supersede domestic leagues and instead seeks to build on football's huge popularity in the region and provide financial sustainability for struggling nations. "The member associations of the AFF were briefed on the potential benefits including the financial forecasts for the participating clubs," AFF council member and AFC vice-president Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah told Reuters. "The concerns raised by the member associations, such as the impact to domestic leagues and the sustainability of the ASL were answered during the briefing [on April 3]." The AFF is expected to progress its plans after the AFC elects its new president on May 2. "The AFF has agreed to further develop the proposed concept of the ASEAN Super League together with [marketing agency] World Sports Group to be presented to the AFC in the near future," added Prince Abdullah.

Reuters added: Despite the huge popularity of football in the region and the success of the AFF’s Suzuki Cup - the biennial tournament for national teams in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - South-east Asia has made little impact in the rest of the confederation, let alone globally.
Vietnam are the best side in the region at 132, according to the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday, with Indonesia the only one to appear at a World Cup final after qualifying for the 1938 edition as the Dutch East Indies. Other issues have plagued South-east Asian football, including match-fixing, poor attendances and domestic disputes.

Meanwhile, Patrick Johnston wrote: While all these leagues suffer in a region that is more famous for its contribution to match-fixing than achievements on the field, Southeast Asian businessmen follow the fans and plough their money into England. Cardiff City’s Malaysian owners were celebrating on Tuesday as their Welsh club finally gained promotion to the lucrative English Premier League. They could swap places with another Malaysian-owned club, with Tony Fernandes’ Queens Park Rangers in dire relegation trouble, while another struggling side, Aston Villa, are sponsored by Malaysian gaming and plantation group Genting. Elsewhere in England’s second tier, three times League Cup winners and promotion-chasing Leicester City are run by Thailand’s King Power International. Last year, Singaporean businessmen Bill Ng came close to buying Scottish club Glasgow Rangers, while compatriot Peter Lim was in advanced talks about purchasing Liverpool in 2010. Asian money men also own Manchester City, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City in the Premier League.

So where does that leave Cambodia? Lagging well behind the rest I would hazard a guess. If six countries are kicking off the ASL in 2015, I seriously doubt Cambodia will be included, with Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Philippines in the queue before us, and likely to get first dibs, with Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste trailing us. The talk of franchise clubs seems to open the door for brand new clubs to be formed, by wealthy backers keen to splash their name across the region. Not convinced there is the appetite for that in Cambodia at this time. But I could be wrong. We shall see how this develops.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Booth to move

David Booth will be leaving Salgaocar soon
Former Phnom Penh Crown coach David Booth has turned the corner at Indian Premier League club Salgaocar after his new club suffered a shocking start to the season. The arrival of some new faces in the transfer window made the difference and they are now out of the relegation mire, and undefeated in their last four outings. However, Booth is not a happy bunny and after watching his players beat United Sikkim 9-0 he told the press he was on his way out. In his typical blunt style, he said; "I don't know (if Salgaocar will be one of the front-runners next season). I won't be here. They told me that they can't keep me. I've got some interested teams, but nothing concrete at the moment. I'll be going on a holiday. I won't be here after that, so good luck to them. I have worked all over the world so I'm prepared to go anywhere. I've got a lot of contacts." David, 64, is no stranger to Indian football having coached both Mahindra United (twice) and Mumbai, as well as being voted India's coach of the year in 2009. David joined the Goa-based club in November after leaving Crown, where he guided the club to the C-League title and the final of the AFC President's Cup.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Old boy nets winner

A tight game was decided when NagaCorp's latest arrival, Cameroonian Ernest Ditipa managed to get the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Kirivong at Olympic Stadium on Wednesday in the Metfone C-League. It was a nice way to announce his return, having played for Naga in 2007 and 2008 before a serious stress fracture injury put his career on hold. He's since been back at home in Cameroon and has played in Thailand for Pattaya City before trying his luck once again with Naga. He lined up with another debutant, teenager Zogbe Gbayoro Anderson from Ivory Coast, on loan from BEC Tero Sasana in Thailand. Naga leap-frogged over Kirivong into third spot. In the other game, BBU will be pleased with their 2-0 win over National Police, with 2nd-half goals from Prum Putsethy and Pich Sina.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Eight in a row

Boeung Ket's Rubbermen stretched their lead at the top with a 1-0 win.
It was a case of as you were at the top of the Metfone C-League after the weekend matches. Boeung Ket found the going a little tougher than usual, managing a solitary goal success against the 2nd-placed team Preah Khan Reach. Bisan George netted his 10th of the season in his team's 8th straight win. That was the first game on Saturday, with Crown's goal-less draw with AEU as the follow-up match. Over at the Army Stadium, BBU punished Senate 4-0 with new face David Ekelechukwu Ogodogun (your guess is as good as mine as to his surname) netted two in quick succession early doors and rounded off his hat-trick in injury time. Not a bad start at all for the new arrival. Prum Putsethy added one more to the total. On Sunday, Kirivong shot down the Army with two goals from Friday Nwakuna and another from substitute Savorn Ratanak Visa, with Phoung Soksana scoring for Army in a 3-1 defeat, that moved Kirivong into third place in the table. Naga and National Police fought out a 2-2 draw with the lead changing hands. Naga opened up through Prak Chanratana before An Jinya levelled from the spot and Joel Omoraka put Police ahead, only for Teab Vathanak to equalise on the hour. In the final matches before the Khmer New Year break, Naga meet Kirivong on Wednesday and National Police face off against BBU the same day.
Preah Khan retained 2nd spot despite losing.

Academy are 1 and 2

Academy1. Back row LtoR: Kao Kiry (coach), Noeut, S Samnang, Baraing, K Chhaya, Sakrovy. Front Row: Piphop, David, V Samnang, Ponvuthy, Rozak, Chanchav.
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy teams both won their matches in the CFDL U-16 competition, with the Academy 1 team playing on Saturday morning, beating the Army U-16s 3-0, with all the goals coming in the last five minutes. Svang Samnang kept the Army at bay early doors with a couple of saves, but the Academy were always on top and let their superior stamina make its mark late on. Vat Samnang opened the scoring and then set up Men Piphop twice, to wrap up the victory. Academy 2 lie 2nd in the table. In the Sunday afternoon encounter with RSISA, Academy 2 kept their lead intact at the top of the competition with an emphatic 9-1 success. RSISA started off on the wrong foot, fielding just seven players until reinforcements arrived by the time they were three goals behind. Ouk Sovann headed the first on two minutes with Yeu Muslim and Theang Chhaya quickly adding two more. Chhuot Senteang netted a quick-fire double, both times racing clear of his marker, and then set up Chhaya for his second. Mat Nuron's quick feet was rewarded when his inch-perfect cross was headed home by Orn Chanpolin for 7-0 at the interval. Chanpolin cantered through for his second after the break before Senteang rounded off his hat-trick with a cute finish. RSISA netted a late consolation, and will be glad they kept it under double figures. The other club results from the CFDL matches on Sunday, saw the PPCFC 1 team beat their teammates in PPCFC 2 in the U-12's match, 6-3. In the U-14 division, PPCFC 1 beat Young Wolf 6-3, but PPCFC 2 lost 4-1 to SSCA 2. The PPCFC Community team in the U-16s age group went down to SSCA 4-0.
Academy 2. Back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Senteang, Soksela, Sovann, Titchhy. Front: Muslim, Chansopheak, T Chhaya, Nuron, Phearath, Sodavid.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lack-lustre performance

Crown v AEU. Back Row, LtoR: Obadin, Thierry, Boris, Pheng, Narin, Ary. Front: Seyha, Suhana, Makara, Borey (capt), Sokumpheak.

After a good start to their Metfone C-league season, Phnom Penh Crown's recent slippages against the top two teams was compounded by a lacklustre showing against newcomers Asia Euro University at the Olympic Stadium this afternoon. A goal-less draw and a below-par performance was not what coach Sam Schweingruber was looking for going into the Khmer New Year break. "We were terrible today. In the first half we had zero purpose in what we were doing. Nothing worked. All in all a deserved draw, we were definitely not the better team. Simply not good enough in my opinion. Fair to say, definitely a wake-up call to me and the whole team. We will have to work very hard in training to correct this situation. If we continue to play like this, we will struggle to make the play-offs." A frank assessment from the Swiss-born coach, who had just watched his team struggle to overcome one of the league's less-fancied teams. The game highlighted Crown's shyness in front of goal, despite a team boasting national team players and big reputations. For their part, AEU are a team of journeymen and youngsters, new to the C-League this year, and proving that hard work and a fighting spirit will occasionally prevail. Granted, they didn't produce one single shot on target throughout today's game and Crown's goal was never seriously threatened, but they proved to be an obstacle to the former champions getting back on track following defeats to Preah Khan Reach and Boeung Ket. A wake-up call, as Schweingruber points out, is exactly what it was.

With Samrith Seiha missing through illness, Yok Ary retained his place in the Crown goal and had one of his quietest-ever games. At the other end, Um Sereyrath was tested by Bin Thierry's 30-yard free-kick on eleven minutes, with the keeper pushing out the goal attempt and then thwarting Sos Suhana's follow-up. Ten minutes later, Hong Pheng crashed through two tackles but his final shot lacked the power to beat Sereyrath who collected cleanly at the second attempt. Less than a minute late, Kouch Sokumpheak fed Leng Makara but his lobbed attempt cleared the goal-frame. On the half-hour, Suhana and Khim Borey played a clever one-two and the latter's thunderous left-foot shot on the run crashed against the cross-bar and into the arms of a grateful Sereyrath. Moments later, Pheng took a pass from Borey in his stride but his low drive again lacked conviction. AEU's first real attempt was a free-kick on 37 minutes that flashed wide of the target. Coach Schweingruber left his team in no doubt at the half-time dressing-down, what he thought of their first-half showing.

Twelve minutes after the break, Borey found the net with a superb finish over Sereyrath's head but his joy was short-lived as the flag was raised. Video replays show that Borey was onside as Pheng's pass struck a defender and looped into his path. Two minutes later Borey broke down the left wing and his cross to the far post saw Makara attempt an audacious mid-air volley that whistled a yard wide. On 67 minutes, Pheng's pass found Borey goal-side of his marker and as Sereyrath came to meet him, the striker's attempted chip wasn't quite high enough and the keeper's fingertips diverted it for a corner. Crown, seeking to gain maximum points, sent on Nelson Oladiji and his first touch inadvertently sent Odion Obadin's downward header into the hands of Sereyrath. A minute later, Oladiji was booked on what would be his final Crown appearance. Borey was determined to end Crown's drought but skyed his shot from 20 yards out, when set up by Makara. Chhom Pisa entered the fray and sent a 30-yarder over the top and picked up a booking two minutes later. AEU's free-kick from the infringement sailed harmlessly over the cross-bar. Crown's final chance fell at the feet of Makara but his two attempts came to nothing, his second keeping the ball-boys busy, as the match ended all-square. Crown now have a break for the new year until they face Kirivong in the final match of the first round of the MCL on 27 April. Fifteen-year-old keeper Keo Soksela made his first appearance on the bench as understudy to Ary. It was confirmed after the match that Pheak Rady has retired for injury and business reasons, while Nelosn Oladiji's short-term contract would not be renewed.
PPCFC line-up: Ary, Boris, Seyha (Oladiji 72), Narin (Lika 28), Obadin, Thierry, Suhana (Pisa 82), Pheng, Makara, Sokumpheak, Borey. Subs not used: Soksela, Dara, Kano, Sothy, Dary, Morslim, Phearun. Bookings: Borey, Nelson, Pisa, Pheng. MOTM: Borey.
Coach Sam Schweingruber makes his point forcibly at half-time

Khim Borey leads out Crown followed by Yok Ary

Friday, April 5, 2013

Asean Super Teams

Looking at football in Asia, there was an announcement earlier this week that could have far-reaching implications for Cambodian football. On the sidelines of the AFF meeting, the arrival of the Asean Super League in 2015 was being touted as the next big thing to give Asean club sides their own UEFA Champions League style competition.The details are still to be ironed out but the regional super league would reportedly feature 16 teams, two each from 8 member nations, namely Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Cambodia, whilst "on a franchise basis" was also mentioned - which could literally mean anything, such as brand new clubs being formed or 'best of' teams being entered. It's all very fuzzy at the moment as the high level discussions will determine the future make-up of the ASL 2015. It's certainly not as cut and dried as Cambodia's best two clubs being invited to join for example. We'll pretty much have to wait and see what transpires.

Almost in the same breath, it was announced the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2014 will be co-hosted by Vietnam and Singapore but more importantly, the pre-qualifying series of matches have been scrapped, so all 11 - or maybe 12 nations, if Australia are admitted - will get to appear. In last year's edition, you'll recall Cambodia finished rock-bottom in pre-qualifying, losing all four matches to Timor Leste 5-1, Laos 1-0, Brunei 3-2 and Myanmar 3-0 and didn't carry onto the final stage. Singapore won the 2012 cup, a 3-2 success on aggregate against Thailand. 

Taking a look at the V-League

Peering inside the V-League
The Word what's on guide to Hoi Chi Minh City takes a look at Vietnam League football, which makes interesting reading. It's regarded as a much higher standard than Cambodia football, the players get paid considerably more, the fans are fanatical and its reflected in the international standing of their national team.

A League of Its Own 
After months of intrigue and turmoil, the V-League is kicking off two months late. Football fans are hoping that there will be no more disruptions and that the 12-team league will be as exciting as last season. Derek Milroy reports on what the future holds for the Beautiful Game in Vietnam. Last season’s title race could not have been scripted better and, although not in the same ballpark as the two Manchester clubs going head-to-head in England, it was arguably just as exciting. The nation’s three biggest cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang all went into the final day knowing they could win the championship. Hanoi was top and only needed a draw against the Ho Chi Minh City team, Saigon, who had to win and have Danang lose — but if the central side did win and there was a stalemate in Saigon, they would be crowned winners. The latter happened, and Danang won their second title in four years.

Turn the clock forward six months, and the never-ending economic slowdown resulted in local officials deciding to postpone the nation’s championship until Mar 2 — with the number of teams going from 14 to 12 due to clubs suffering from financial uncertainty. This season’s line-up consists of Danang, Kien Giang, Long An, Thanh Hoa, Song Lam Nghe An, Hai Phong (who have taken the franchise of Khataco Khanh Hoa from Nha Trang), Hanoi T&T, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Saigon XT, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ninh Binh. With one team being relegated and three being promoted from the First Division, there will be a 14-team league in 2014. In 2015, the league is expected to expand to 16.

Word tracked down local sports reporter, Thanh Nguyen, to clarify the goings-on over the last few months. “The V-League has been through uncertain times for a number of months now and instead of kicking off in January, the league has been delayed,” he says of the recent turbulence. “Two football teams (ACB Hanoi and Hanoi FC) owned by disgraced mogul Nguyen Duc Kien, have officially withdrawn from the V-League and First Division Tournament 2013, meaning a lot of players will have to find new teams. Navibank Saigon has also folded.” Officials from Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF), the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), football donors and local officials have been frantically trying to help local teams out. There are also new regulations on the number of foreign players and the age limit of domestic players with regards to transfers. With 30 players in a team on average, the V-League and First Division Tournament have more than 200 players who are now jobless.

A Great Migration

This cull of players in nothing new to football, but this time it has not only affected the little-known and young players. Stars who are members of the national team who are currently unemployed include top striker Le Cong Vinh of Hanoi T&T and Doan Viet Cuong of Saigon Xuan Thanh. Song Lam Nghe An FC was close to dissolving but has survived, a relief to their huge and loyal fan base. After some haggling, national midfielders Nguyen Trong Hoang, Nguyen Dinh Dong and Au Van Hoan reached an agreement with the team. This turmoil has been bad for the players, but good for sports reporters. “The most outstanding story is the case of national striker Le Cong Vinh, who is the glamour boy of Vietnamese football,” Thanh says. “He admits his chances of playing in the V-League this season are very slim. No club will be able to afford a transfer fee of hundreds of thousands of US dollars to buy him, despite being without a club. He will almost certainly go to a sports college while trying to maintain his form to look for opportunities in the next season.”

But Thanh also describes with some sadness the absurdity of another case. “The most tragic story is of national striker Quang Hai who has a real dilemma because his team, Navibank Saigon, was disbanded. If he wants to join a new team, he or his new club will have to pay VND3.5 billion in compensation as he is in debt to the team. Quang Hai said he has had to sell his motorbike to pay debts and support his family.” Saigon XT have also had enough with national defender Viet Cuong, who has been put up for sale after suffering from the ‘Primadona disease’, an affliction we associate with the likes of Carlos Tevez. In this case, the lazy star used an alleged illness as an excuse for not training with the city side.

Saigon has only been in existence for two years but it’s been a terrific 24 months for the city club. They ran away with the First Division title last season and only lost out on the league title on the last day. But they unexpectedly won the National Cup — beating Hanoi T&T, one of the country’s most successful sides in recent years, 4-1 in the final at Thong Nhat Stadium a week later. However, they might suffer this season, as they have lost some of their highly-paid foreign stars. Striker Van Quyen has been let go from Song Lam Nghe An due to a dip in form, but minnows Ninh Binh FC seem keen to give him a helping hand. That would result in a huge drop in club and wages for the former Vietnam star. Thanh Luong, another player from Vietnam’s national squad, is fortunate in that Hanoi T&T paid VND3 billion (about US$144,000) to take him from the recently disbanded Hanoi FC.

The Long Road Back

Hanoi T&T striker Thach Bao Khanh, 33, insists Vietnam’s top clubs need to get their houses in order to ensure the survival of the V-League. But providing the VFF can improve quality and professionalism both on and off the pitch, he remains optimistic about the future of the game. "Reform is needed in our game but I think it will be gradual,” he says. “It’s the Vietnamese way. The individual teams have to put in a great effort to ensure the finance is there to continue for the long-term. Since we introduced the V-League ten years [ago] it has definitely helped improve the quality of [football in Vietnam].” Khanh is convinced the reduction in the number of teams this season will mean it will be more competitive, with every game becoming a mini ‘cup final’. He is hoping Hanoi T&T can add to their only title win in 2010, as one of the newest clubs in the V-League. They have also been runners-up in the last two seasons. “The number of teams being reduced is not necessarily synonymous with reducing quality and after being runners-up with the last two years, we are hoping to go one better this season,” he says.

VFF has made a bold decision to invite Kazuyoshi Tanabe to be their deputy director in the 2013 season. The Japanese official will take responsibility for the organisation of the national football leagues, and is expected to heighten the quality and competitiveness of tournaments and matches, attracting spectators back to stadiums. Meanwhile, this season Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) will sponsor the National Football Championship, V-League, the First Division football and National Football Cup, after the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and Eximbank signed an agreement in Ho Chi Minh City. Under the contract, Eximbank becomes the first-ever sponsor of the three big tournaments and this is the third consecutive year of V-League sponsorship by the firm.

Building the Future

Based in Pleiku in the Central Highlands, Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG Academy is the only operational football academy in Vietnam at this moment. The academy is a cooperation between Premiership giants Arsenal and privately-owned Vietnamese corporation Hoang Anh Gia Lai, and it will hopefully help produce Vietnamese stars of the future. To help bring through young players, a new V-League regulation states that each team must have at least three Vietnamese players aged 23 and under registered in matchday squads of 20 for every league game. Under new rules of the Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF), the 2013 season will restrict the number of foreign players in the V-League to three per team squad.

Thanh sees the current uncertainty as a good thing for these future stars. “One thing which will also help the young players come through is the fact that due to a cut in wages this season, a lot of foreign players have left Vietnam to seek opportunities elsewhere,” he says. “Those who stay have to accept a significant reduction of salary. Over the years wage cuts have led to foreign players moving to other countries in the region such as Thailand and Malaysia.”

Stat Attack

The Leagues

Vietnamese football has two divisions, the V-League and the First Division. The current V-League deal is worth VND100 billion (US$4.8 million) from 2011 to 2013. Sponsor Eximbank plans to spend some VND47.3 billion this season.

V-League 2013 begins on Mar 2 and concludes on Aug 25. Teams will play each other home and away for 22 matches in total.

The Cup
The National Football Cup qualifying round will begin on Mar 16 and the final will be played on Aug 31. The winners will receive VND1 billion. VPF will award VND4 billion to the winners, with second and third receiving VND2 billion and VND1 billion.

The First Division tournament starts on Mar 9 and concludes on Jul 6. The VPF said only eight teams will compete this season for a championship bounty of VND1 billion. First Division teams will also play each other home-and-away over 14 rounds.

The Stadiums

Sai Gon FC plays at Thong Nhat Stadium (138 Dao Duy Tu, Q10), while Hanoi T & T plats at Hang Day Stadium (Trinh Hoai Duc, Dong Da). Both have a capacity of over 20,000.

The Fans

The V-League in 2009 attracted a record 1.8 million fans, an average of 11,143 fans per game, according to VFF. However, the V-League attracted just 697,500 fans — an average of 7,837 fans at each game — in the 2012 season.

The Salaries

Despite the economic crisis, 14 V-League teams spent a total of VND300 billion in 2009 on players. Vietnamese footballers were being paid on average between VND10 million and VND20 million a month. The minimal salary for players in the V-League 2013 is set at VND10 million per month. It is VND6 million for First Division stars.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

He does it again

Match official Yean Kivatana
I know its not ideal to blast the match officials when you've just been defeated by the league leaders but this is an occasion where it's fully deserved. They were abysmal. Referee Yean Kivatana (also called Kivatanak or Kywadhana) has never been my favourite official since he began in the middle in 2009. He has a penchant for brandishing red and yellow cards where none are required and clearly has no idea about how the game is played. I've said it many times before and nothing changes. He gets the biggest game of the season and because of his ineptitude, by the 25th minute he's ruined the match as a evenly-matched spectacle. He's been running the line for quite a few games over the past two seasons in what appeared a demotion from the middle, but he was back there yesterday, doing what he does best, spoiling what could've been a great game. In the 25th minute his eyes told him that Ngoy Srin's foot was high in tackling Chan Vathanaka, though it was more likely based on the latter's high-pitched squeal and rolling around as if he'd been shot by a sniper in the crowd. Video and photographic evidence clearly shows that both players played the ball at the same time. The referee was wrong. He brought out his yellow card with a flourish, and shoved it towards Srin, as he likes to do and then quickly held his red card as high as he could, allegedly because Srin said something insulting to Vathanaka. Probably something along the lines of, "get up, you big girl's blouse." Kivatana simply compounding his original error. Phnom Penh Crown were reduced to 10-men against the league leaders who'd won six out of six coming into the match. Blow me down, just over ten minutes later, Yob Romaton and Odion Obadin collide in the penalty box and Kivatana couldn't wait to point to the spot for a penalty kick. Obadin was distraught. Those who have seen Kivatana in action before, were not surprised at all. Boeung Ket were two goals to the good, helped in no small measure by the match referee. Other decisions that beggared belief were a booking for Bin Thierry just after the break, where video evidence clearly shows that no contact was made with an opponent. And on two occasions, Kivatana's assistant flagged for offside when the video again shows that both calls were shockingly bad and totally inept. The referee refused to speak to the Crown coach at the end of the match, brushing off his questions and then blew a kiss to the crowd as he left the field. Nice performance ref.'s Kem Sovanna captures the ridiculous yellow card for Ngoy Srin

Two blatant examples

Both players play the ball at the same time yet Srin (red) gets booked, and subsequently dismissed
To say I'm fuming would be a severe understatement. I will post my match report from Phnom Penh Crown's 3-1 defeat by Boeung Ket later but suffice to show you a couple of video screen-grabs as examples of piss-poor decisions by today's referee Yean Kivatana and his linesmen. The top one shows the challenge for the ball on 25 minutes when Ngoy Srin (red) and Chan Vathanaka (white) were involved in a 50-50 tackle, where you can see the ball is played by both players at the same time. The difference is that Vathanaka rolled around on the ground squealing and the referee immediately showed a yellow card to Srin. Words were exchanged and the referee then flashed a red card at Srin, presumably for something he said (Note: The referee's report says he was dismissed for insulting behaviour to an opponent). Fact, the referee got the first decision badly wrong and compounded it by dismissing the Crown defender. Let's just say that Yean Kivatana has a long history of flourishing his favourite red card. The picture below is another screen-grab showing Kouch Sokumpheak (red), the ball having already left his foot, sending a long pass behind the defence to Khim Borey (far left). The linesman flagged and the referee agreed with him that Borey was offside when its clear that he is at least 2 yards onside and its the linesman who's in the wrong place. There was a catalogue of such decisions in today's match. Of course, the FFC should look at the video of the game and take action. I'll be waiting til hell freezes over before I see that day arrive.
Khim Borey (red at left) is clearly well onside yet is denied a goalscoring opportunity by the match officials

Playing against 12

PPCFC v Boeung Ket. Back Row LtoR: Boris, Pheng, Thierry, Obadin, Narin, Srin. Front Row: Suhana, Ary, Makara, Borey (capt), Sokumpheak.
In an eagerly-awaited Metfone C-League clash at Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh Crown were looking to dent the 100% record of leaders Boeung Ket after six matches, but didn't realise they'd be up against the match referee as well. Without goalkeeper Samrith Seiha, out with a fever, Crown had some early jitters with Leng Narin completely missing his clearance kick and needing Odion Obadin to strong-arm Yob Romaton out of the danger area. Then Keo Sokngorn got above Ngoy Srin but his header sailed wide, before Srin cleared his lines as Chan Vathanaka broke through. On 16 minutes Boeung Ket took the lead with another Sumaila Momoh special. A poor decision gave the leaders a free-kick which was cleared out to Momoh, who by-passed Sos Suhana's challenge and fired in an arrow-like drive from 20 yards that struck the inside of the post and nestled in the net. Crown's first real effort came as Suhana's drilled free-kick was put behind by Ly Ravy, before match referee Yean Kivatana stepped up to put his stamp on the match. Srin and Vathanaka challenged for the ball, both connecting at the same time as video evidence shows, but the Boeung Ket striker's reaction and squeal made up the referee's mind. A yellow card for Srin. Seconds later, Kivatana was brandishing a red card, allegedly for insulting behaviour by the Crown defender, recalled to the team after sitting out the last few matches. The match was 25 minutes old and Crown were reduced to 10-men. Stung into action, Kouch Sokumpheak sent a drive over the top from the edge of the area and then headed another effort wide of the upright. Referee Kivatana, never one to shy away from the spotlight, decided on 37 minutes that Crown hadn't suffered enough, by awarding a soft penalty for a collision between Obadin and Romaton in the penalty box. It was a very questionable award, for which Vathanaka stepped up to send Yok Ary the wrong way with the spot-kick. As the teams entered the fourth minute of time added on at the end of the 1st half, another poor decision gave Crown a free-kick about 20 yards from goal. Bin Thierry's left-foot curler took a wicked deflection off the head of Romaton and landed in the far corner of the Boeung Ket net. 2-1 down at half-time but Crown were not dead in the water. Game on.

Vathanaka's goal-bound free-kick early after the restart was headed clear by Obadin, before Thierry was cautioned, even though he never touched his opponent. Fourteen minutes after the break, Khim Borey's cross found Sokumpheak all alone in the box but his header sailed harmlessly wide, and seconds later his turn and shot hit Ly Ravy and went for a corner. The best opportunity fell to Sos Suhana on sixteen minutes when Peng Bunchhay's punch landed at his feet on the edge of the box but he blasted his drive over the top with the goalkeeper on the floor. Sam Schweingruber tried to enliven his team with a couple of substitutions and positional changes and it very nearly paid dividends on 69 minutes. Another Thierry free-kick, this time 30-yards from goal, was heading for the top corner only for Bunchhay to leap to his left and claw the ball away for a corner. Fabulous stuff from both players. Moments later and Suhana sent a looping header over the cross-bar. Unable to find an equaliser, Crown paid a heavy price as Boeung Ket broke quickly, Vathanaka out-muscled Pheak Rady and played a one-two with Sokngorn, racing into the box and finishing with confidence, on 76 minutes. Crest-fallen, Crown replied with a looping overhead kick from Leng Makara after Bunchhay's weak punch, but Boeung Ket raced clear again, only for new signing Befolo Mbarga to find Ary in no mood to concede a fourth goal. In another five minutes of added on time, Crown continued to press with Borey having a shot blocked, Bunchhay pulling off another finger-tip full-length save this time from Nelson Oladiji's bobbling drive, Hong Pheng hammering a 25-yarder inches high and finally, Oladiji mis-kicking in front of goal with the final kick of the match. Game over, 3-1 to the league leaders to extend their run to seven straight wins, but it was far from plain-sailing and without referee Yean Kivatana's intervention, the match would've been a much closer affair.

For coach Schweingruber, there were pluses to take from the game. "It definitely didn't go our way today. I don't understand what happened with the red card, but we were already a goal down which came pretty much out of nowhere and was unstoppable. Then the red card and a second goal. That's when we finally woke up and I saw a PPC team who though we didn't dominate, you didn't know who had less players and I have to compliment my team for working extremely hard until the 70th minute. Up to that point we looked like the team who could walk off as winners, 10-men and at 2-1 down we looked the better team in my opinion. They were restricted to a few counter-attacks and we were creating chances, moving well, fighting hard, everyone was working for each other. We had a great chance with a free-kick and also from a corner, but its those chances you have to take when you are in our position. We couldn't manage to score, which is the story of our season, we don't score enough of our chances. We had to do something, we made a couple of changes but it didn't work. They scored on a break, which wasn't a surprise and that finished the game off. Then again in the last ten minutes I have to compliment my team, we were down but we were fighting and that's the kind of spirit I want to see and in any other game, we'd walk off with a victory." 
PPCFC line-up: Ary, Srin, Pheng, Narin (Rady 62), Obadin, Boris, Thierry, Suhana, Makara (Pisa 84), Sokumpheak (Nelson 69), Borey. Subs not used: Dara, Sothy, Lika, Dary, Seyha, Morslim, Kano, Phearun. Bookings: Srin (+ red card), Thierry, Obadin. MOTM: Thierry.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Stop the game!

Referee Tuy Vichheka stands over 2 players with head injuries watching play continue
The only goal of the game between Phnom Penh Crown and Preah Khan Reach on Saturday should not have been allowed. Period. This screen-grab from a video of the match, albeit the quality isn't great, shows referee Tuy Vichheka (in yellow) standing over two players lying prone on the ground, both holding their heads, after a collision involving them and a high foot from Crown keeper Samrith Seiha. FIFA have instructed referees to stop play for any serious injury, especially head injuries as the safety of players must always come first. In this instance, you can see on the video that the referee made a cursory glance at the two prone players, having been thirty yards from the incident when it happened, and simply let play continue, appearing to have no regard for the health of the injured players. Preah Khan reacted quicker than Crown and fourteen seconds later the ball was in the net for the match-winning goal. It's clear that the referee should've blown immediately to stop the game. He didn't. Preah Khan scored and Crown lost the match. You can watch the video highlights, with the incident taking place after 3 mins 29 seconds, @

No change

There was no change at the top of the Metfone C-League championship with leaders Boeung Ket registering their sixth straight win, grabbing a rather fortunate 1-nil success over National Police, after Chan Vathanaka came off the bench to score with 20 minutes to go. Police were without skipper Say Piseth who is joining Boeung Ket ahead of their AFC President's Cup involvement, as is BBU's Chhun Sothearath. Preah Khan Reach moved into second place with their win over PPCFC, whilst NagaCorp moved up to third on goal difference over Crown with their expected 3-0 victory over club-in-turmoil BBU. Chan Dara and Ishola Abiodun gave Naga a head start and Teab Vathanak rounded it off late on. Army played out a 1-1 draw with Asia Euro University at Olympic in Saturday's later game. Meak Chhordaravuth netted for Army only for Thorn Darapich to level on the hour. Over at the Army Stadium on Saturday, Kirivong beat Senate 4-0 with two goals in each half from Heng Kimhong, Ntim Spirit, Friday Nwakuna and Ek Vannak respectively.


The PPCFC Academy 2 team that top the table. Back Row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Sodavid, Soksela, Senteang, Sovann, Titchhy. Front Row: Phearath, Chansopheak, T Chhaya, Nuron, Muslim.
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy teams recorded two more victories in the Cambodia Football Development League U-16s division on Sunday afternoon in week 4. PPCFC 2 lead the table with four straight wins, brushing aside the initially stiff opposition provided by their PPCFC Community team colleagues 5-0. The community boys held out for fifteen minutes until Yeu Muslim struck the cross-bar and Mat Nuron bundled the ball over the goal-line. Muslim finished with ease five minutes later and in time added on at the end of the first-half,  Nuron added his second through a forest of legs. Without goalkeeper Khek Chan Sambattey, the community team would've been looking at a cricket score, as the youngster, who's already made his C-League debut for BBU this season, kept out a series of goal-bound attempts. After the break, Nuron completed his hat-trick, finishing off an In Sodavid cross and then Muslim added a deft-touch to a breakaway for his side's fifth. In the earlier kick-off, PPCFC Academy 1 put RSISA to the sword, winning 7-1 despite a plucky start from their opponents. Suon Noeut opened the floodgates from the penalty spot after Pov Ponvuthy had been upended. Vat Samnang quickly added a second and then set up Mat Sakrovy for a delightful chip from 20 yards out. RSISA managed to pull a goal back but almost immediately, Sakrovy raced clear to score with ease. Just 46 seconds into the second period of thirty minutes each way, Ponvuthy beat the offside trap to dance around the keeper. Sakrovy completed his hat-trick fifteen minutes in with another trademark chip, before Ponvuthy showed another clean pair of heels to a dispirited RSISA defence for the final nail in their coffin. The two Academy teams are first and second in the table. The results for the U-12 and U-14 teams in Crown's colours weren't so encouraging on Sunday morning. The two U-12 teams lost 8-3 to PKR2 and 10-1 to PKR1. In the U-14 competition, PPCFC 1 were beaten 6-0 by PKR and the PPCFC 2 boys went down 7-1 to Youth Shark. Both age groups are finding the league a tough baptism after recently forming their teams, but they continue to play with enthusiasm and spirit and will definitely get better.
The PPCFC Academy 1 team beat RSISA 7-1. Back Row, LtoR: K Chhaya, Chanchav, Baraing, Rozak, Sakrovy, S Samnang. Front Row: David, Noeut, Piphop, V Samnang, Ponvuthy, Ronaldo.

The PPCFC Community team in the U-16 competition