Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Academy in Hun Sen Cup

2 new kits for the Hun Sen Cup: Academy players LtoR: Baraing, Chhaya, Senteang, Chanvuthy, Sovann, Sodavid, Chanpolin - click to enlarge
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy will take part in the Hun Sen Cup 2015 competition, which begins on 8 January, and will represent Chroy Changvar district in Pool B of the Phnom Penh preliminary round. Of the 8 city teams, 3 will qualify for the knock-out rounds alongwith the regional qualifiers and the 8 best teams in the C-League last term. The Chroy Changvar team will be made up of the Crown Academy U-17 players under head coach Bouy Dary and could conceivably be drawn against the senior Crown team in the later stages if they qualify. The three matches in their pool of 4 teams will be as follows:
Thur 8 Jan v Kirivong - KO:1.30pm at RSN Stadium.
Fri 9 Jan vs Albirex Niigata - KO:1.30pm at PE School
Sun 11 Jan vs Tuol Kork (who will be Svay Rieng 'B') - KO:3.45pm at RSN Stadium.

The Academy youngsters are pictured with their two new playing kits for the cup competition, sponsored by 855Crown.Asia.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Two more victories

PPCFc U-17s, back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Sodavid, Soksela, Chanchav, Chhaya, Senteang. Front: Noeut, Muslim, Noron, V Samnang, Baraing - click to enlarge

Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-17 Academy 1 BBU 0 (Friendly).
The Crown Academy left it very late, the 3rd minute of time added on, to win this hard-fought friendly match at RSN Stadium this afternoon. The match-winner was Chhuot Senteang with a powerful header from Seut Baraing's corner, as Crown finished the game the stronger of the two teams. The match started slowly with the Academy stepping up their game with Baraing and In Sodavid having shots held by the BBU keeper, before BBU hit the post at the other end with a header. Senteang broke clear only to screw his shot well wide and the game remained scoreless at the break. Senteang was denied by both keeper and goal-post just 40 seconds into the 2nd half and with BBU going close twice, it was Crown who pulled the strings in the last ten minutes. Senteang, free, drove across the face of goal, Orn Chanpolin whacked a 25-yard drive against the cross-bar and Sraing Titchhy's shot was deflected wide by a desperate lunge. Then Senteang sealed the result with his fine header on 93 minutes. PPCFC U-17s vs BBU: Soksela, Noeut, Baraing, V Samnang, Chanchav, Chanpolin, Chhaya, Sodavid (Piphop 64), Noron (Phearath 78), Muslim (Titchhy 56), Senteang. Bookings; Chhaya, Titchhy. Goal: Senteang 90+3.

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Chanmony, Chetra, Piseth, Savey, Safy, S Samnang. Front: Kakada, Panha, S David, Pisoth, N David - click to enlarge

Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15 Academy 7 Roy7 Select 3 (Friendly).
The younger Crown Academy team dominated this match from start to finish and showed their adult opponents no mercy, but will be disappointed to concede three goals. At the other end, Tong Chanmony, moved up to striker, scored on 11 minutes from Sin Kakada's pass and Nop David stroked home a penalty on 24 minutes after San David was upended. Roy7 pulled a goal back but Chanmony was enjoying himself, and scored his second on 27 minutes and then headed his hat-trick on 31 minutes from Sok Panha's pinpoint center. Crown hit the woodwork three times through Mao Piseth and twice by Chanmony before the break. Twelve minutes into the 2nd half, Chanmony netted his 4th with a lob courtesy of Kakada's pas, new face Phom Oay slotted home on 76 minutes after a clearance hit teammate Kie Rina, and Piseth walked in a goal from the half-way line two minutes later. Roy7 scored two more but were well beaten on the day. PPCFC U-15s v Roy7: Samnang (Rafat 46), Panha (Rina 68), Kakada (Samel 68), Safy, Savey (Chetra 79), N David (Sovannaroth 31), S David (N David 73), Pisoth (Davann 46), Chetra (Punlork 46), Piseth, Chanmony (Oay 57). Goals: Chanmony 4 (11, 27, 31, 57), N David (24 pen), Oay (76), Piseth (78). 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Crown's new faces win

PPCFC v Albirex, back row, LtoR: Sokleng, Makara, Pisa, Thierry, Boris, Obadin. Front: Yaneat, Da, Polo, Sokthorn, Usarphea - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 3 Albirex Niigata 2 (Friendly).
PPCFC coach Sam Schweingruber used this afternoon's practice match at RSN Stadium, to give match-time to eight players on trial, mixed in with some of his regular senior team. The plan got off to a great start when Leng Makara headed home the first goal from close range after 7 minutes, from Odion Obadin's headed pass and Chhom Pisa's deep cross. Just three minutes later, Thourng Da's run and pass set up Sor Polo, a winner of the Division 1A championship with Sihanoukville, and he slotted the ball neatly under the oncoming goalkeeper for number two. Crown kept the Albirex keeper busy with goalbound attempts from Makara and Thierry, while Sim Vutha rattled the home cross-bar with a 25-yard drive. Da cleared from under his bar at the start of the second period before Va Sokthorn broke into the box but was denied by the keeper. In the 17th minute of the second of the 3x30-minute periods, Crown added a third as Pisa linked with Prom Yaneat to set up Sokthorn and he fired in a well-worked goal. There was time for Polo and Makara to both be denied by the Albirex stopper before the visitors pulled a goal back, against the run of play. A poor challenge from behind by Pisa allowed Nov Sosela the opportunity to reduce the arrears from the penalty spot on 56 minutes. Albirex scored a second on 73 minutes, with a snap-shot from the edge of the area but Schweingruber made more changes to tighten up and George Bisan broke clear only to have his shot palmed aside. Orn Chanpolin sent a 25-yarder skidding through a forest of legs and then Bisan will wonder how he didn't score after being put through, with his final touch being toe-poked over the cross-bar by a defender. Crown deserved the victory though made heavy weather of it in the latter stages of the match. Crown's trialists were: Sor Polo, Eung Sokleng, Nhett Run Samnang (all Sihanoukville), goalkeeper San Usarphea, Hour Lavy (both CMAC), Lous Chaly (Battambang), Prom Yaneat (Western U), Lee Jung Bin (South Korea).

PPCFC v Albirex: Usarphea (Soksela 61), Pisa, Da (Sokleng 71), Boris, Obadin (Yaneat 75), Thierry (Lavy 31 (Titchhy 75)), Yaneat (Bisan 51), Makara (Chaly 61), Sokthorn, Sokleng (Jung Bin 31 (Chanpolin 75)), Polo (Samnang 61). Goals: Makara (7), Polo (10), Sokthorn (47). 3x30 minute periods.

Monday, December 22, 2014

No change in the MCL

The Metfone C-League play-offs have been and gone, with the composition of the top division unchanged. The two teams in the 2014 relegation places, Kirivong and Albirex Niigata, will return to the fold after succeeding in the 3-team play-off battle at the FFC's Tonle Bati HQ last week. They were supposed to face the best teams from the Division 1A qualifiers, Sihanoukville and CMAC, but the seaside team pulled out leaving the three-teams to battle it out. Albirex made sure of their place with a 2-0 win over CMAC, after a 1-1 draw with Kirivong in the opening tie. A goal-less draw for Kirivong with CMAC, also saw the Takeo-based team return to the top flight too, so effectively no change.

The Olympic Stadium pitch is now being renovated, courtesy of a $500,000 grant from FIFA and an artificial surface will be laid between now and May. The likelihood is that the start of the C-League in 2015, scheduled for late March, will be played at other stadiums, such as the Army Stadium and the new RSN Stadium, with the Olympic pitch not likely to be ready. The Hun Sen Cup will begin in early January with qualifying matches in the provinces and amongst the Phnom Penh qualifiers, before the top eight teams in last season's C-League are invited to join the qualifying teams in the main competition. The teams in the Phnom Penh preliminary round are Army, Western Uni, Civil Aviation and Chbar Ampov (Creek Victory Sport), Kirivong, Albirex, Tuol Kork (Svay Rieng B) and Chroy Changvar. Games will begin on 8 January with three capital teams joining the province qualifiers in the next round.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Double Academy success

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Chanvuthy, Sakrovy, Chanchav, V Samnang, Senteang, Chanpolin. Front: Baraing, Phearath, Muslim, Sodavid, Noron - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s 5 Svay Rieng B 1 (Friendly).
In this afternoon's RSN Stadium practice match, the Crown Academy took their chances and bossed the match for long periods against their traditional rivals Savy Rieng, who will appear in the Hun Sen Cup under the name of Tuol Kork. Mat Noron got on the scoresheet after 4 minutes with a smart finish from Chhuot Senteang's persistence. Noron then did the dirty work, beating two defenders with his quick feet, to set up Senteang for a measured finish on 21 minutes. SVR hit the post and cross-bar, courtesy of a fingertip Kung Chanvuthy save, before pulling a goal back on 36 minutes. Two quick-fire goals from Yeu Muslim after the break put Crown in command and they took charge until the final whistle. Just 24 seconds into the 2nd half and Muslim slotted home after In Sodavid caused headaches for the defence. On six minutes, Sodavid's run and pass gave Muslim another tap-in goal. SVR had a player dismissed for punching Pov Ponvuthy. On 76 minutes, Senteang broke clear and set up Sodavid, who rolled the ball in to make it a convincing 5-1 success for Crown. PPCFC U-17s: Chanvuthy (Soksela 46), V Samnang (Noeut 46), Phearath (Ponvuthy 46 (Phearath 80)), Baraing, Chanchav (V Samnang 71), Sodavid, Chanpolin, Sakrovy, Muslim, Noron (Chhaya 78), Senteang. Goals: Noron (4), Senteang (21), Muslim 2 (46, 51), Sodavid (76).

PPCFC U-15s line-up, back Row, LtoR: S Samnang, Safy, Savey, Sovannaroth, Chetra. Front: Chanomony, Panha, Piseth, S David, Kakada, N David - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s 3 FFC Academy 1 (Friendly).
The younger Academy team from Crown again dominated their opponents from the FFC Academy, who will join the Dream Asia U-14 competition in Thailand tomorrow. With positional changes giving Crown a new look at RSN this morning, Tong Chanmony gave them the lead after just 23 seconds,when he neatly clipped home from Pich Sovannaroth's through ball. On 29 minutes Chea Savey poked the ball in after San David crashed a corner against the cross-bar. Kie Rina made it 3-nil on 55 minutes when he pulled the trigger after a lay-back by Mao Piseth. FFC reined a goal back but were never in the game and Rina and Piseth went very close to increasing the 3-1 victory scoreline. PPCFC U-15s: S Samnang (Rafat 71), Panha, Kakada (Chetra 71), Safy (Sovannaroth 71), Savey (Pisoth 71), Piseth, Sovannaroth (Davann 36 (Chanmony 71 (Kakada 88)), Chetra (Samel 36 (S David 94)), N David, S David (Punlork 36 (S Samnang  84)), Chanmony (Rina 36 (Savey 100)). Goals: Chanmony (1), Savey (29), Rina (55). 3x35 minute periods. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A well-earned reward

The Academy party on the beach at Sihanoukville
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy boys headed for a weekend break to Sihanoukville as a reward for winning the Cambodia Youth League championships at both U-15 and U-17 levels. It's a well-deserved holiday for the 36 players plus coaching staff. They enjoyed fishing, diving into the sea, a boat trip to the islands and a beach BBQ.
The Academy fishing champion, Sin Kakada

The Academy's posing diving award went to Mat Sakrovy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Regulation win

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Sakrovy, Chhaya, Chanpolin, Titchhy, Soksela, Sovann. Front: Rozak, Senteang, Noron, V Samnang, Noeut - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-17 Academy 3 Chamkarmon 1 (Friendly).
In a match they dominated from the first whistle, the U-17s will wonder how they didn't score a hatful of goals in this match. Mat Noron scored the opener on 27 minutes when he took advantage of a poor pass and fired a shot from the edge of the box inside the near post. The visiting goalkeeper was kept busy though Kim Chhaya should've added a second just before the break, volleying over from a corner. Ten minutes after the break, Pov Ponvuthy was pushed over in the box and Mat Sakrovy slotted home the penalty kick. Chamkarmon pulled a goal back with a header from a corner but that was their only real strike on goal and Yeu Muslim wrapped up the match, volleying in at the near post from Sath Rozak's cross on 72 minutes. PPCFC U-17s: Soksela (Chanvuthy 46), Noeut, Sovann, V Samnang (Phearath 46), Titchhy, Sakrovy (Noron 70), Chanpolin, Chhaya (Muslim 56), Rozak, Senteang (Sodavid 56), Noron (Ponvuthy 46). Goals: Noron (27), Sakrovy (55 pen), Muslim (72).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Crown go out on pens

PPCFC under floodlight, back row, LtoR: Pheng, Srin, Bisan, Obadin, Matnorotin, Yaty. Front: Sothy, Suhana, Da, Borey, Sokumpheak - click to enlarge
Final Result: PPCFC 1 Diamond FC (China) 1 [Diamond won 8-7 on penalties] - (2014 Yunnan-Asean International Tournament).
Phnom Penh Crown were beaten in a penalty shoot-out under floodlights and exited this pre-season tournament in Mangshi City, Yunnan, China. One of China’s best amateur clubs, Diamond held their nerve as penalties decided this Quarter-Final tie, after the teams drew 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes. Sary Matnorotin had given Crown the lead on 38 minutes with their first goal of the competition in Crown’s third match.  The Chinese levelled from an uncleared corner on 51 minutes. Crown had chances to win the game in both halves but didn’t convert them and then fell to sudden-death penalties 8-7 with Borey and Makara having their spot-kicks saved. Line-Up: Yaty, Da, Pheng, Srin, Obadin, Sokumpheak, Sothy, Suhana, Borey, Matnorotin, Bisan. Subs: Ary, Sokheng, Pisa, Boris, Makara, Sokthorn, Pellegrino. Goal: Matnorotin. Penalties scored: Pheng, Obadin, Sokumpheak, Bisan, Srin, Da, Sokthorn.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Another nil-nil

PPCFC in China. Back Row, LtoR: Vanny, Sothy, Sokthorn, Srin, Bisan, Matnorotin, Sam, Pheng, Obadin, Makara, Pisa, Yaty, Sophat. Front Row: Da, Pellegrino, Suhana, Borey, Sokheng, Ary, Sokumpheak, Boris - click to enlarge
Sunday 7 December 2014; Result: Phnom Penh Crown 0 Muangthong United (Thailand) 0 (2014 Yunnan-Asean Int Tournament).

In their second group match of the 2014 Yunnan-Asean International Tournament being held in Mangshi City, Yunnan Province, China, Phnom Penh Crown were held to a second consecutive goal-less draw against Muangthong, one of the better youth teams in Thailand. Head coach Sam Schweingruber commented on their second match in two days:  "The game today (vs Muangthong United U-19s) was very disappointing. The 1st half was okay, we had good possession and created a few chances. Our defence was solid but we didn't have enough going forward, things just didn’t fall our way in the final third of the pitch with miss-control, bad first touches and so on. The 2nd half was pretty boring, we didn’t really get close to scoring despite an okay amount of possession." Crown now meet Diamond FC tomorrow (Monday at 7.30pm), a Chinese amateur team who won the right to join the competition, coming top of a 14-team amateur league, winning most of their matches very easily and have four China League 1 players in their line-up. It promises to be a tough quarter-final tie for Crown. PPCFC v Muangthong: Ary, Pisa, Sokheng (Da 75), Boris, Obadin, Sokumpheak (Makara 53), Suhana (Pellegrino 83), Sothy, Matnorotin, Sokthorn (Srin 66), Bisan (Pheng 70). Subs not used: Yaty, Borey. Bookings: Sokthorn, Srin.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dominant but no goals

PPCFC v Mengzi: Back row, LTR: Sothy, Srin, Sokthorn, Bisan, Obadin, Yaty. Front Row: Da, Pellegrino, Pheng, Borey, Sokumpheak (capt) - click to enlarge

Result: Phnom Penh Crown 0 Mengzi Wanhao (China) 0 (2014 Yunnan-Asean Int Tournament).
The draw for the Yunnan-Asean International Tournament paired Crown with two teams in their 3-team group. Crown met Mengzi Wanhao, a team from China's League 2, this afternoon in their first tie. Tomorrow they will meet Thailand's Muangthong United U-19s at 4pm.  All 6 teams in the two groups will then move into the quarter-finals, where two winning teams from an amateur competition of 14 teams, will be added. The quarter-final matches will be played on Monday 8 Dec, semi-finals on 9 Dec and the final on 10 Dec. Back to today's game and despite dominating possession for long periods, Crown couldn't convert the many chances they created and had to settle for a point in their group game. The matches are taking place in Mangshi City, Yunnan, SW China and the other three Asean club teams are Muangthong (Thailand), Yadanarbon (Myanmar) and Sabah FA (Malaysia). Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his thoughts on the 0-0 draw with Mengzi Wanhao. "All in all I was happy with the performance but not with the result. We turned our dominance in the second half into good chances but failed to convert them. The opponents frustrated us and the referee didn’t help our attempt to play good football against a physical team. We need to look forward and learn from this, on how to overcome a compact defense and to stay positive in every phase of the game. With only 24 hours to rest it is going to be a chance tomorrow for fresh players to show what they can do on the international stage." The game with Muangthong will kick-off at 4pm in Mangshi City. PPCFC starting XI: Yaty, Da, Pheng, Srin (Pisa 70), Obadin, Sothy (Suhana 73), Sokumpheak, Borey (Matnorotin 78), Sokthorn (Makara 60), Pellegrino, Bisan.
Subs not used: Ary, Boris, Sokheng.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Heading for China

Sam Schweingruber with his eyes on China - pic Masayori Ishikawa
The 18-man Phnom Penh Crown first-team squad fly to Kunming and onto Luxi (Mangshi City) in Yunnan Province, southwest China later today. In two days time they will begin their challenge for the 2014 Yunnan-Asean International Tournament, with six teams invited from half a dozen Asean countries and 2 from China. We will let you know the fixtures as soon as the draw is made. Head coach Sam Schweingruber is allowed to take 18 players under the competition rules and has selected the following: Yaty, Ary, Da, Pheng, Srin, Obadin, Boris, Sokheng, Sokumpheak, Suhana, Sothy, Pisa, Sokthorn, Makara, Matnorotin, Borey, Pellegrino, Bisan. Four club officials will travel with the team for the tournament. Amongst those left at home, Bin Thierry and Koen Bosma are not part of the tournament squad.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preparation & World AIDS Day

A view of today's red v blues match
Phnom Penh Crown will be heading for China next Wednesday for the Yunnan-Asean Tournament and played an internal match at RSN this afternoon. With the first-team squad and a number of Academy players mixed together, the red team beat the blues 9-3. George Bisan scored 4, Mat Sakrovy 2, Va Sokthorn 2 and a cracker from Chhuot Senteang, with Hong Pheng, Khim Borey and Sraing Titchhy scoring for the blues. The trip to China promises to be an interesting one, with Crown at the early stages of their pre-season preparation, and they will come up against some of the best teams in the region. The tournament will take place in Mangshi City in Dehong prefecture, in southwestern Yunnan province.
Tomorrow afternoon at 3pm, Phnom Penh Crown will welcome 120 children to the RSN Stadium to mark World AIDS Day 2014, which will be observed worldwide on 1 December, to bring attention to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is dedicated to raise awareness about HIV, commemorate those who have died from HIV-related complications and to recognize the resiliency and gather support for those living with and affected by HIV. According to the UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic 2013, 1.6 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses and 35.3 million people are living with HIV. Crown have joined forces with SALT Academy, Asian Development Bank, AFC and UNAIDS for tomorrow's event. Joining our Academy boys, will be youngsters from our community football teams, and two schools in Phnom Penh, Day Star and Sovannaphumi, to mark the day.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Overseas again

The PPCFC 1st-team will be heading overseas very soon
Some very big news coming later today (actually, its below) involving Phnom Penh Crown's pre-season programme. Okay, its an overseas tournament. Happening very soon. No letting the cat out of the bag just yet. If you didn't know the Hun Sen Cup - for Khmer players only - will begin in January and the Metfone C-League season is due to start in late March.

The Phnom Penh Crown 1st-team will travel to Yunnan Province in southwest China on Wednesday 3 December to join the 2014 Yunnan-Asean International Tournament, which takes place between 5-10 December. Eight teams will be taking part in this annual tournament, including 6 from Asean countries and two clubs from Yunnan Province. The invited club teams from the Asean countries are: Muang Thong United (Thailand), Hanoi T&T (Vietnam), Yadanarbon (Myanmar), Sabah FA (Malaysia), the Laos National Team and PPCFC. "This is a great opportunity to kick-start our preparation for the forthcoming 2015 season, and the high standard of the teams invited to Yunnan will give this tournament a serious competitive edge. We will take a squad of 18 players next week and though we have only just returned to serious pre-season training, we are determined to take full advantage of this opportunity," said head coach Sam Schweingruber. Last November, Crown joined the Nanning Asean International Invitation Tournament in Nanning, China and finished in third place.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

100% record maintained

PPCFC U-15s v FFC, back row, LtoR: Panha, Chetra, Savey, Safy, Samnang. Front: Kakada, Punlork, Rina, Piseth, S David, Chanmony - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15 Academy 1 FFC Academy 0 (Cambodia U-15 Youth League).
The Crown Academy U-15s needed a victory to maintain their 100% record in winning this year's Youth League title, and they did just that. Tiny midfielder San David was the matchwinner, with a sweet drilled shot from the edge of the box with just two minutes to go, at Tonle Bati yesterday morning. The champions held the upper hand in the first-half with the FFC keeper keeping his goal intact with some fine saves including a superb Sin Kakada lob, which he tipped onto the crossbar on ten minutes. Mao Piseth, Sok Panha and Kakada all went close to scoring before the break. After the interval, Svang Samnang in the Crown goal was called on to make three good saves and FFC hit the crossbar with a fluke rebound from the keeper's clearance, before San David settled the game in the closing stages, much to the delight of his teammates. A Nop David free-kick was cleared to David lurking on the edge of the area and his sweetly struck shot powered into the corner for a deserved winner. PPCFC U-15s: S Samnang, Chanmony, Chetra (Sovannaroth 55), Safy, Savey, S David, Punlork (N David 44), Rina, Kakada (Davann 62), Panha, Piseth. Subs not used: Rafat, Samel. Booked: S David. Goal: S David (68). 2x35 minute periods.

Double Championship Success

Captain Orn Chanpolin lifts the U-17 Championship trophy
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-17s finished their season last week and won all six league matches to register a 100% record as Cambodia U-17 Youth League Champions, for the second year running. Captain Orn Chanpolin collected the trophy with his teammates, as well as the prize money of 5 million riels ($1250) this morning at Tonle Bati. They also picked up the awards for Fair Play, Top Scorer (Suon Noeut- 13 goals) and Best Goalkeeper (Kung Chanvuthy).
Captain Svang Samnang lifts up the U-15s Championship trophy at Tonle Bati
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s made sure of a 100% record with this morning's 1-0 win over the FFC Academy at Tonle Bati and picked up the Cambodia U-15 Youth League Championship, for the second successive season. Here, captain Svang Samnang and the team celebrate being handed the trophy and prize money of 5 million riels ($1250). Kung Rafat was awarded the Best Goalkeeper award. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

No success on the road

Cam v Singapore: back row LtoR: Pheng, Samoern, Visal, Srin, Laboravy, Yaty. Front: Udom, Chhoeun, Suhana, Pancharong, Sokumpheak (capt) - click to enlarge
The Cambodia national team, with five Phnom Penh Crown players in the starting line-up - Yaty, Pheng, Srin, Suhana and Sokumpheak (capt) - went down 4-2 in Singapore in tonight's international friendly game. All the goals in the game came in the first-half with Khuon Laboravy scoring both of Cambodia's goals. Singapore opened up the floodgates after 9 minutes before Laboravy levelled on 27 minutes with a header. Within two minutes Singapore were ahead again, only for Laboravy to pull it all-square again when he stole in at the far post. There was no stopping Singapore at that point as they pressed and netted another two before the break, with Laboravy also hitting the post. No-one troubled the scoreboard after the interval though Singapore always held the upper hand and will wonder why they didn't add more. They now go onto the AFF Suzuki Cup to defend the title they won two years ago. Cambodia return home and will now concentrate on their next competition, the SEA Games in June next year. Cambodia XI: Yaty, Pheng (Piseth 41), Samoern, Visal, Pancharong, Srin (Chanrasmey 55), Sokumpheak, Suhana (Makara 74), Udom (Tola 74), Chhoeun, Laboravy (Borey 67). Subs not used: Sophea, Daravorn, Sovan, Phallin. Goals: Laboravy 2 (27, 30).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

U-17 champs

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Senteang, V Samnang, Chanchav, Sakrovy, S Samnang (capt). Front: Ponvuthy, Noeut, Baraing, Noron, Rozak - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-17 Academy 16 Civil Aviation 0 (Cambodia U-17 Youth League).
The U-17 Academy team completed their season with a thumping win over Civil Aviation, to confirm themselves as Youth League Champions for the 2nd year in succession, with 6 wins in as many matches. On Fair Play Day, despite extreme provocation from their opponents who had two players red carded in the second-half and 7 booked, Crown passed their way through the Aviation defence to run up a big score. Out injured were Kim Chhaya, In Sodavid, Men Piphop and Long Phearath, so the U-17s had just five players on the bench. In goal, Svang Samnang skippered the team and read out a few words before the kick-off on behalf of FIFA Fair Play. It took four minutes for Seut Baraing to open the scoring as he blasted a 25-yard free-kick past the keeper, after Orn Chanpolin was fouled. It would turn out to be the story of the game as CA resorted to strong-arm tactics to try to half the Academy but without success. Chhuot Senteang scored 2 goals in two minutes, as he finished off a pass from Mat Noron, and then moved onto Pov Ponvuthy's through ball and produced a deft touch over the onrushing keeper. His second was on 15 minutes. Two minutes later and Mat Sakrovy picked up the ball 25 yards out, sidestepped two defenders and let fly from distance for Crown's 4th. A superb one-two by Chanpolin with Senteang saw the midfield dynamo roll the ball in for a fifth on 23 minutes. More chances came and went as Crown totally dominated, with the CA keeper pulling out a series of good saves to keep the scoreline to five at the break.

Mat Noron opened the second-half flood of goals on 9 minutes when Sath Rozak and Baraing combined to present him with the opportunity. Ouk Sovann tested his free-kick range with a 20-yarder against the cross-bar, before Noron netted his second on 67 minutes, from a Rozak pass. Three minutes later, CA lost their first player to a red card for a crude lunge on Senteang and a minute later, Sovann made them pay as he curled a free-kick over the wall and into the top corner. With the clock just ticking on another minute, Sovann outpaced his marker, who took a kick at him, but he recovered and laced the ball into the net from wide on the left. More bookings for CA followed as they lost their heads and Sovann claimed a six-minute hat-trick, as Noron was upended and Sovann placed one of his free-kick specials over the wall and into the net. 76 minutes played. A minute later, Senteang was floored, a penalty awarded and another CA player saw red, though he initially refused to walk. Civil Aviation were making a mockery of the FIFA Fair Play event that preceded the match. Senteang lashed the ball into the net for his hat-trick. On 81 minutes Yeu Muslim slotted the ball home from Sovann's cross-field pass that put him in acres of space, and Senteang scored his fourth from Muslim's byeline cross. Senteang repaid his teammate with an unselfish pass for Muslim to tap home as Crown ran riot against a demoralised CA outfit. With four minutes to go, Baraing ventured upfield, took a pass from Noron and steered the ball into the top corner with a great strike. And in stoppage time, the full-back raced from his own half, walked the ball around the keeper and over the line for his hat-trick and the Academy's 16th without reply. Svang Samnang in goal was a spectator, though CA's tactics were questionable throughout the match and not in keeping with the FFC's focus of the day.  The Academy U-17s will be presented with their trophy and medals next Sunday.

PPCFC U-17s v CA: S Samnang (capt), Noeut (Titchhy 46), Baraing, V Samnang, Chanchav (Sovann 46), Rozak, Sakrovy (Muslim 59), Chanpolin, Noron, Ponvuthy, Senteang. Subs not used: Chanvuthy, Chansopheak. MOTM: Sovann & Baraing. Bookings: None. Goals: Baraing 3 (4, 86, 90+1), Senteang 4 (14, 15, 78pen, 84,), Sakrovy (17), Chanpolin (23), Noron 2 (54, 67), Sovann 3 (71, 72, 76), Muslim 2 (81, 85).

Unlucky 13, for CCF

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Rafat, Safy, Chetra, Savey, Sovannaroth. Front: Kakada (capt), Punlork, S David, Piseth, Panha, N David - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15 Academy 13 Cambodia Children's Foundation 0 (Cambodia U-15 Youth League).
The U-15 Academy team took their league wins to 7 in 7 matches with another convincing success at Tonle Bati this morning.
With head to head deciding the title outcome if a tie for top spot, the U-15s have effectively won the championship, though a win over the FFC Academy next week will make it abundantly clear to everyone. They started slowly in their penultimate game before Mao Piseth opened the scoring on 8 minutes with a typical solo effort. He won the ball, lost it, regained it and then tapped it over the line minus his boot, which he'd lost in a tackle. Three minutes later Sok Panha's cross was sliced past his own keeper by a defender at the near post. The CCF keeper was a busy boy as you might expect and he had no chance when Piseth sent him the wrong way from the penalty spot on 23 minutes. A Piseth free-kick was saved, Sin Kakada retrieved the ball and crossed it, only for a defender's hand to give the referee no alternative but to point to the spot. Piseth dribbled through a mass of legs but failed to find his final touch before San David set up Panha and he sent a delightful lob into the far corner on 26 minutes. Three minutes later and Panha returned the favour, as David sent a low shot into the corner.

The one-way traffic got a lot worse after the interval for CCF. A minute in and Kakada tapped in after San David's shot was blocked. Piseth struck the inside of the upright and then blasted over before Kakada scored his second from David's pass with 7 minutes on the clock. Four minutes later and Piseth set up Kakada for his hat-trick and he duly obliged at the second attempt. For much of the match Kakada was unstoppable and his 11-minute hat-trick was just reward for a brilliant individual performance on the right wing. Piseth added two more in quick succession, the first from Kakada's pass 14 minutes into the second period, and then sent in a 20-yard drive five minutes later to take his tally to four in the match, and 16 for the season. Stand-in coach Tom Legg, the new Academy Technical Director, made some changes and two of the new arrivals both grabbed goals. Tong Chanmony showed some neat touches on the byeline and slotted in on the half-hour, while Kie Rina came on to play in midfield and fired home from Piseth's pass, three minutes later. The final strike went to Chea Savey, pushed up from defence to get a goal, and he duly obliged with a drive from Piseth's pass. 13-0 the final score though the Academy boys will know they should've scored a lot more. Lim Pisoth had to miss the game through sickness and Vuth Sophara has left the club to return home to Battambang.
PPCFC U-15s v CCF: Rafat, Sovannaroth (Davann), Chetra, Safy, Savey, Punlork, S David (Rina), N David (Chanmony), Panha, Kakada, Piseth. Subs not used: S Samnang, Samel. MOTM: Kakada. Goals: Piseth 4 (8, 23pen, 49, 54), Own Goal (11), Panha (26), S David (29), Kakada 3 (36, 42, 46), Chanmony (66), Rina (68), Savey (71). U-15 matches are 35 minutes each way.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Defeat on the road

Azkals Phil Younghusband scores the 40th goal of his international football career. Photo - Mark Cristino/Rappler
Not unexpectedly, the Philippines proved too strong for the Cambodia national team in Manila this evening, winning 3-0 with fuel to spare in the tank. The Azkals will be heading for the Suzuki Cup next week and this was their final warm-up in front of their own fans, who would've been happy to see them two goals ahead at the break. Daisuke Sato tried his luck from long range and succeeded on 13 minutes for the home team, who doubled the lead just before the break when Manny Ott cashed in on Sou Yaty's initial block save from Younghusband's drive. Cambodia revived after the break with Khuon Laboravy striking the bar and Sos Suhana doing like-wise late on, but it was the Azkals who had the best chances and Younghusband wrapped it up with his 40th international goal in the first minute of stoppage time as he held off Touch Pancharong. 3-nil was the final scoreline and about right with the FIFA rankings of the teams poised at 129 vs 185, Cambodia will be pleased they didn't repeat their previous meeting drubbing of 8-0. Five Phnom Penh Crown players began tonight's match: Yaty, Sokumpheak (capt), Pheng, Srin and Suhana. Coach Lee Tae-Hoon will now seek something not too dissimilar from a visit to Singapore on Monday evening for the second of Cambodia's on-the-road friendlies.
Cambodia v Phils, back row, LtoR: Udom, Laboravy, Sovan, Piseth, Visal, Yaty. Front: Suhana, Srin, Pheng, Samoeun, Sokumpheak (capt). Pic by Dennis Jerome Acosta/Clutch PlaysPH - click to enlarge

On the road again

Cambodia's national football team are on their travels again. Tonight they meet Philippines in Manila for a friendly match and then hop over to meet Singapore on Monday night. The two games will give the two home teams some match practice time before they take part in the AFF Suzuki Cup later this month. For Cambodia, their failure to qualify for the cup's final stages has left them pretty much in limbo before the country's next serious competition, the SEA Games in June 2015. That's an U-23 tournament but coach Lee Tae-Hoon decided to take his full senior team on this jaunt, hoping no doubt to improve the FIFA world ranking positioning, which in August was at an all-time low of 201. They bounced back to 185 after their first batch of international matches for a long while and matches against superior ranked teams like Philippines and Singapore will help that cause.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

C-License starts

Today's C-License course participants
The Phnom Penh Post carried this short story regarding the C-Licence course starting today at RSN Stadium, arranged by Phnom Penh Crown and the SALT Academy. I couldn't have put it better myself! 8 PPCFC players started the course and two of the club's Academy coaches.
Crown host C-License coaching course
A 13-day AFC C-Licence coaching course for young players and coaches will kick off at 8:30am today at the RSN Stadium in Toul Kork district. The course is being hosted by reigning Metfone C-League champions Phnom Penh Crown with support from the Football Federation of Cambodia and Battambang-based charity organisation SALT Academy.FC Instructor Shiyaz Mohamed from the Maldives will lead the course and will be assisted by Crown Academy coach Bouy Dary. “For the players, it’s an opportunity to really start on the road to becoming coaches,” Crown press officer Andy Brouwer told the Post. “We encourage them to think of their careers after football, as part of their personal career development.”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

TriAsia scalped

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Sodavid, Sakrovy, Chanpolin, Senteang, Titchhy, Chanvuthy. Front: Noron, Baraing, Sovann, Noeut, Rozak - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-17 Academy 2 TriAsia 1 (Friendly).
Fresh from their draw with Army, the Crown Academy U-17s took on another C-League team, TriAsia at RSN Stadium this morning and another impressive performance this time brought them a victory. With Orn Chanpolin in dominant mood in the middle of the park, it was winger Mat Noron who put on a man-of-the-match showing as the Academy hogged possession and passed their way through a mediocre TriAsia line-up. Chanpolin and Chhuot Senteang will feel they should've done better early on with their chances before Noron showed exactly why he has the nickname of Messi. On 18 minutes he picked the ball up out wide, cut inside two defenders, momentarily lost control of the ball before regaining it, skirted past two more and let rip with a low drive inside the post, for a memorable individual goal. Crown made sure their dominance was on the pitch and on the scoreboard with a second goal within a minute. Suon Noeut's bye-line cross fell at the feet of In Sodavid and he picked his spot perfectly from just inside the box, sidefooting the ball past a hapless keeper. Senteang sent a left-footer whistling past the upright before TriAsia caused some concern with their first real attack, striking the cross-bar from outside the area. Senteang had two more guilt-edged chances before the break, Sath Rozak sending him clear for the best of them and his two quick-fire shots were stopped by the keeper and a defender on the line.

TriAsia sent out their best line-up after the break including national teamer Suong Virak who cashed in when the Crown defence went to sleep. Kung Chanvuthy saved Dani Kouch's free-kick and sensing the danger had passed, the defence allowed Virak too much room, and he crashed the ball into the net, 7 minutes after the restart. Chanvuthy made a strong one-handed stop ten minutes later as TriAsia  posed some questions, but the Academy recovered and took back control of the ball with Mat Sakrovy's burst and low drive stopped by Hem Simay. Noron jinked his way into the box and went down under Chan Rithy's tackle but the ball squirmed out to Yeu Muslim and his shot was deflected inches wide. Seut Baraing sent a free-kick just off target and Ouk Sovann brought out another diving Simay save with his dead-ball strike, as Crown eased themselves to yet another notable victory.
PPCFC U-17s v TiAsia: Chanvuthy, Noeut, Baraing, Sovann, Titchhy (Chanchav 69), Chanpolin, Sodavid (Ponvuthy 46), Rozak (V Samnang 84), Sakrovy, Noron, Senteang (Muslim 71). Subs not used: Chansopheak. Booking: Titchhy. MOTM: Noron. Goals: Noron (18), Sodavid (19).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rare defeat for U-15s

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Safy, Chetra, Savey, Panha, Kakada. Front: Chanmony, Punlork, Piseth, S David, Pisoth - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15 Academy 3 Daniel FC 7 (Friendly).
The younger Academy boys suffered a rare defeat this morning in their Water Festival practice match against Daniel FC at RSN Stadium. Daniel are better known for their indoor five-a-side Tiger Street exploits and lost 8-3 when they met the older Academy boys. Playing 3x30 minute periods, Daniel survived a stro9ng start by the Academy with Sin Kakada and Mao Piseth both going agonizingly wide before Daniel scored a minute before the break. Three goals in the second period put the visitors firmly in control, with the third goal from the penalty spot after a trip by Yem Chetra. The start of the third period saw the start of Crown's fightback. Piseth gave Chriv Sokundavann the space to pick his spot with a neat chip for their opening goal on 62 minutes. Two minutes later and Piseth won a tackle and set up Nop David who rolled in the Academy's second. Both Piseth and Kakada were denied as Crown went in search of more goals, and then Piseth failed to score with a 1-on-1 as they threw everything into attack. It cost them when Daniel broke quickly to score a fifth. On 83 minutes Piseth was again the provider as Davann fired into the far corner, with Kakada being denied moments later. Daniel made sure of their success with two more breakaway goals in the final two minutes, to register a 7-3 win, and a rare defeat for the U-15 Academy boys.

PPCFC U-15s v Daniel: S Samnang (Rafat 31), Chanmony (Piseth 61), Chetra (Pisoth 79), Safy (Sovannaroth 37), Savey (Safy 61), S David (Davann 37), Punlork (S David 70), Pisoth (Rina 37 (Savey 79)), Panha (Kakada 71), Kakada (N David 37), Piseth (Sophara 37). Subs not used: Samel. Goals: Davann 2 (62, 83), N David (64).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

U-15s win again

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Rafat, N David, Sovannaroth, Savey, Safy, Chetra. Front: Panha, S David, Piseth, Pisoth, Kakada - click to enlarge
Result: PPCFC U-15 Academy 1 FFC Academy 0 (Friendly).
In this morning's Water Festival friendly at RSN Stadium, the Academy U-15s beat their Cambodia Football Federation Academy rivals 1-0, thanks to a goal from Mao Piseth after 25 minutes of the first-half, courtesy of an assist from Sin Kakada. Both teams played entertaining football and created chances but it was the PPCFC team that came out on top, as they have in each of the meetings between the two teams to-date. The Academy U-15s have another match on Saturday morning against Daniel FC at 9am at RSN.

PPCFC U-15s v FFC: Rafat, Sovannaroth (Chanmony), Chetra, Safy, Savey, Pisoth, Kakada 9Rina), S David, N David (Ponlork), Panha (Davann), Piseth. Sub not used. Samel. Booking: Piseth. Goal: Piseth (25).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Army hold Academy

PPCFC U-17s, Back row, LtoR: S Samnang, Chhaya, Chanchav, Chanpolin, Sakrovy, Senteang. Front: Rozak, V Samnang, Noeut, Ponvuthy, Sodavid - click to enlarge
Result: PPCFC U-17 Academy 0 Army 1st Team 0 (Friendly).
It was goal-less as the Academy U-17s began their Water Festival program with a friendly game against the the senior Army team at RSN Stadium early this morning. The Academy had the best chances but failed to find the back of the net against their more illustrious opponents, who included members of the national team. Another good performance from the Crown youngsters.

PPCFC U-17s v Army: S Samnang, Noeut, Chhaya (Baraing), Chanchav (Titchhy), V Samnang, Chanpolin, Rozak (Piphop), Sodavid (Muslim), Ponvuthy (Sovann), Sakrovy (Noron), Senteang (Phearath). Subs not used. Chanvuthy, Chansopheak. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Crown too good for Laos

PPCFC v Attapeu: Back row, LtoR: Bisan, Boris, Bosma, Pheng, Obadin, Yaty. Front: Pellegrino, Suhana, Sokumpheak (capt), Borey, Srin - click to enlarge

Sunday 2 November 2014: Result: PPCFC 2 Hoang Anh Attapeu – Laos 0 (Toyota Mekong Club Championship 3rd Place play-off).
Crown started on the front foot and took the game to Attapeu in the blistering heat and high humidity, at the Go Dau Stadium in Binh Duong, Vietnam, in this 3rd place play-off. Sos Suhana benefitted from a one-two with Adriano Pellegrino to find space but fired his shot straight at the legs of the Attapeu goalkeeper in the fifth minute. Two minutes later and George Bisan chested down a chip forward by Kouch Sokumpheak but watched in disbelief as his perfectly-timed volley went the wrong side of the upright. Bisan set up Khim Borey but he mis-cued his shot and then the Nigerian striker rattled the cross-bar with a blistering half-volley from just inside the area after latching onto Koen Bosma's perfect center. Not to be denied, Crown's constant pressure paid off on 21 minutes when Adriano Pellegrino’s slide-rule pass was deftly touched under the onrushing keeper by Bisan to put Crown ahead. The Nigerian hotshot celebrated with his trademark somersault. Two similar attempts had been unsuccessful but third time lucky was just what Crown needed. A minute later and Hong Pheng's looping cross saw Bosma challenge the keeper and despite getting his head to the ball, it cleared the cross-bar. Attapeu finally woke up and Sou Yaty had to be alert to touch a Sihavong free-kick around the post. A break through the middle by Lembo Saysana saw him avoid Yaty's lunge but Ngoy Srin was back to clear the danger. Yaty comfortably tipped over a long distance free-kick from Xayyabounsou before Crown re-established their control before the break. Sos Suhana moved onto a Pellegrino pull-back but blasted well over and Bosma's cross was mis-timed over his own bar by Sipasong. The two players were involved in the next action as Bosma's diving header was deflected off the defender for a corner. Another Pellegrino perfect cross on the run was touched inches wide by Bisan and Borey fired a drive across the face of goal and wide as the first-half came to end, peppered with bookings for Borey and Kok Boris.

With the second-half less than a minute old, Yaty's fingertips kept out a snap-shot from Sihavong, and Saysana fired over the top from the edge of the box. A burst past three players by Sokumpheak looked to have set up Pellegrino but the ball carried through to the keeper instead. Seven minutes after the restart and Crown got the second goal their efforts deserved. Borey won the ball and took a return pass from Bosma before sending a cross low skidding to the far post where Bisan was lurking, and he tapped the ball home with glee. Srin was booked for a tug on the shirt of Kettavong as he looked to break free, and Va Sokthorn and Leng Makara were sent on by Sam Schweingruber to liven up the flanks. Xayyabounsou held off Pheng's challenge but fired weakly at Yaty, before Crown thought they'd grabbed a third. Bisan's pull-back saw Sokthorn's shot saved by Soundala but the ball spilled out to Pellegrino who poked the ball into the net. A linesman's flag for offside ruled it out. Attapeu were not a spent force and Sihavong made the point when his free-kick struck the outside of the post from 20 yards. As the ball bounced back into play, Pellegrino sent Sokthorn racing clear from inside his own half, but his 45-yard run was halted as he hesitated and Soundala grabbed the ball off his toes. Yaty had to be alert as Sysoutham broke clear and the keeper's block was enough. At the other end, Sokthorn almost cashed in on a poor defensive header but Soundala was quick to see the danger and raced out to clear. Sokthorn was busy since his introduction and it was his pass to Pellegrino that saw the playmaker try a chip from 22 yards that just cleared the cross-bar. There was still time for Baldwin Ngwa and Ouk Sothy to stretch their legs for a few minutes before Vietnam referee Phung Dinh Dung blew for full time.

In his post-match press conference, Sam Schweingruber explained: "The scoreline didn't really reflect our control of the game. I'm very proud of the performance, good discipline, good composure, we worked the midfield very well and only for a few minutes did we have some issues with our opponents - other than that I believe we were the stronger team, better organised team, better individuals and deserved winners of third place in this competition [and $30,000 in prize money]. We applied our tactics for the game quite well, we were not planning to play as many longs balls as we did - our short passing through the midfield, where we had numerical advantage, and better quality, decided the game. It worked out as we had hoped."
PPCFC v HA Attapeu: Yaty, Pheng, Srin (Da 74), Boris, Obadin, Sokumpheak, Suhana (Sothy 88), Bosma (Sokthorn 64), Borey (Makara 67), Pellegrino, Bisan (Ngwa 84). Subs not used: Ary, Thierry. Bookings: Borey, Boris, Pellegrino. MOTM: Bisan – two goal heroics + MVP. Goals: Bisan 2 (21, 52).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Proud performance

PPCFC v Binh Duong, back row, LtoR: Pheng, Obadin, Bosma, Srin, Ngwa, Yaty. Front: Pellegrino, Boris, Sokthorn, Sothy, Sokumpheak (capt) - click to enlarge
Friday 31 October 2014: Result: Becamex Binh Duong 5 Phnom Penh Crown 2 (Toyota Mekong Club Championship semi-final).
Crown gave a fighting performance tonight at the home of Binh Duong and should be proud of themselves for causing the V-League champions so many problems. It was a very close run game until two goals late in the game flattered the eventual winners. After both sets of players were left to get cold with never-ending pre-match speeches and introductions, it was Binh Duong who caught Crown cold with a goal after a minute and 19 seconds on the clock. Nguyen Trong Hoang's corner fell at the feet of Dieng Abass, he made himself a yard and his shot took a wicked deflection of Kok Boris to leave Sou Yaty with no chance. Crown marched straight up the other end and Koen Bosma's shot was deflected for a corner. Next an Adriano Pellegrino free-kick was finger-tipped off a queue of waiting heads for a corner by lanky keeper Bui Tan Truong. Yaty was alert to the space Oseni Bolaji found himself and the Crown keeper kept gout his shot with his legs. With play switching ends, Va Sokthorn was flagged offside after Baldwin Ngwa's backheel put him free inside the box. Crown's chance to equalise appeared to arrive on 19 minutes as Bosma played Pellegrino into space on the left, his tantalising center was touched goalwards by the outstretched leg of Ngwa but the ball agonisingly sailed the wrong side of the upright. Yaty was again in the thick of it as he blocked a close range attempt by Abass from Bolaji's center, and then acrobatically caught a cross from Le Tan Tai. With 4 minutes of the first-half remaining, Binh Duong cracked open Crown through the middle and despite an initial stop from Yaty on Nguyen Anh Duc, Hoang poked the ball into the unguarded net. There was still time for Bosma to head a Pellegrino cross over the bar as Au Van Hoan applied pressure on the Dutchman.

Crown came out fighting at the start of the second-half and took the game to the home team. Va Sokthorn had a shot saved from Ngwa's lay-back with just 48 seconds on the clock, Pellegrino shaved the paint off the post with a ferocious drive from Bosma's pass, and the Dutchman had a drive blocked on the edge of the box. A 25-yard free-kick from Bosma deflected off the wall for a corner, and Sokthorn played in Ngwa, who cut inside but Truong was equal to his well-struck shot and punched the ball out of danger. Le Cong Vinh entered the fray and immediately found room only to shoot weakly at Yaty, but it was Crown who finally reaped the rewards for their pressure. On 66 minutes Bosma was on hand to tap home at the far post from Hong Pheng's perfect delivery across the face of goal. Kouch Sokumpheak weaved past three defenders but Ngwa's shot was blocked but with 20 minutes to go, Binh Duong knocked the wind out of Crown's sails with a scrappy third goal, Oseni Bolaji bending low to head in near the foot of the post, after Cong Vinh had headed down a cross from Hoang. As the game bounced from end to end, George Bisan came on for Ngwa with thirteen minutes to go and within fifteen seconds was thwarted by a defenders heel, as he played a neat 1-2 with Pellegrino. Moments later, Ngoy Srin's headed pass gave Bisan another opportunity, but he was a foot wide with his looping finish. As both teams made a flurry of personnel changes, Binh Duong made sure of the win when a quick break allowed Le Cong Vinh to rifle the ball into the roof of the net from an Abass pass, with two minutes to go. Crown were caught again in the 91st minute, another breakaway and Abass again found Nguyen Tang Tuan, who had time to pick his spot for number five with a neat curling shot. Not to be denied, Crown refused to give up and Leng Makara's run and cross was headed in by Bisan from close range in the fourth minute of stoppage time, to close out the game at 5-2, as referee Surasak from Thailand blew for full-time.

Sam Schweingruber gave this reaction at the final whistle to the packed press room: "When you have a game plan and everyone knows what you want to do, and after 2 minutes you are already 1-zero down, your plan is all messed up. I am extremely proud of the reaction my team showed in the first 25 minutes of the 2nd half - we were dominant and created quite a lot of good chances but were unlucky not to equalise at that stage. In a cup semi-final, losing 2-1 or 5-2 is not much of a difference, and you can see at the end we made changes and pushed up, gave everything and unfortunately it wasn't enough. We played a very strong team, compliments to our opponents, they have good individual skills and a good understanding of each other. I think I was most impressed today with the performance of the goalkeeper. We are usually quite good on our set pieces and you could see how comfortable he was in dealing with our crosses and corner kicks. I was also impressed with their striking force, good runs and dangerous when they had the ball." Crown will now meet the other beaten semi-finalist, Hoang Anh Attapeu, who lost 5-4 on penalties to Ayeyawady after a 1-1 draw on 90 minutes, in the 3rd-place play-off on Sunday.
PPCFC v Binh Duong: Yaty, Pheng (Makara 83), Srin (Da 82), Boris, Obadin, Sothy (Thierry 72), Sokumpheak, Sokthorn (Borey 66), Bosma, Pellegrino, Ngwa (Bisan 77). Subs not used: Ary, Suhana. Bookings: Pellegrino, Obadin. MOTM: Pellegrino. Goals: Bosma (66), Bisan (90+4).

PPCFC prepare

Kouch Sokumpheak answers the questions from Bayon TV
I've been a bit busy with Phnom Penh Crown preparing for their battle of the century with the Vietnam League champions Becamex Binh Duong at 8pm tonight, here in Binh Duong, just outside Ho Chi Minh. I'll bring you the result later but its live on Bayon TV at 8pm in Cambodia, so make sure you watch it. Here the Bayon TV boys are interviewing the Crown captain Kouch Sokumpheak, at training last night. Also a snap of the team before they left Phnom Penh airport en route for Vietnam. We arrived late on Wednesday, managed a training session on the pitch last night and now we're getting focused on tonight's semi-final in the new Toyota Mekong Club Championship. We've been paired with the favourites so we have the toughest game of all.
The PPCFC team before flying out for Vietnam

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Crown unveil

PPCFC staff at the press conference today. LtoR: Heang, Legg, Sokthorn, Schweingruber, Bosma, Carter, Brouwer
Phnom Penh Crown held a press conference this morning at the ASKAP Gold Investment office to announce a series of exciting new developments at the club. Head coach Sam Schweingruber has signed a new 2-year extension to his contract, which is great news for everyone involved with PPCFC. Sam had this to say to the press today: “When I first came, the club was going through a difficult time and it has been hard work to get the right structure and organisation in place. We have continued to progress and were Champions last year. With the strong leadership and support of President Rithy Samnang, the hard work of all the staff and the potential of the young players we have, makes me believe that PPCFC has a great future ahead of it. I am very happy to be chosen to continue to serve the club and to bring further success to the team.” Joining him are two new members of the club’s coaching staff. His new 1st team assistant coach is Jonathan (Jonny) Carter. With over 15 years of coaching experience in the UK, USA, Singapore and Hong Kong, the 39-year-old Welshman holds a coaching A-License and was most recently head coach of Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong. He has run coaching courses and sports camps for many years in Asia and is the author of highly-respected coaching manuals. Another new face is our Academy Technical Director and Performance Analyst, Tom Legg. Tom (27) has coached in the USA, India and the UK and run coaching programs in Kenya and Sierre Leone, where he most recently was the head coach at the Craig Bellamy Foundation and Performance Analyst for the Sierre Leone national team. Englishman Tom holds a UEFA B coaching License and will work closely with our Academy head coach Bouy Dary.

The list of announcements continued with the unveiling of the club’s new website,, which will work in tandem with our Mobile App – the 1st-ever in Cambodia and available as a free download on Apple and Android mobile phones – to bring our fans the most up to date information on Crown’s matches, players and what’s happening at the club. Working very closely with, these are two very exciting developments in bringing the club even closer to its rapidly-growing fanbase both in Cambodia and abroad. We encourage all PPCFC fans to visit the website and download this free App and keep in touch with the club.

Crown are also very happy to announce the appointment of Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA), the Singapore-based sports marketing company, as our strategic partner. The two-year deal will see DSA provide our club with a host of marketing, branding, commercial and sponsorship opportunities. “DSA is always on the look-out for top football clubs in the region and PPCFC definitely fits the bill with its grassroots programme and its desire for commercial growth. We want to start this initiative of forming collaborations with clubs such as these to fully develop football in the south-east Asian region and beyond,” said Kunihito Morimura, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu Sports Asia. Crown President Rithy Samnang, added, “We are proud to have formed this strategic partnership with Dentsu Sports Asia, a leader in the sports marketing industry, and we are confident that this collaboration can take this football club to greater success in the near future.”

Crown announced their 18-man squad that will travel to Vietnam tomorrow for Friday’s Toyota Mekong Club Championship match against the V-League Champions Becamex Binh Duong (8pm, live on Bayon TV). It is: Yaty, Ary, Da, Borey, Sothy, Thierry, Boris, Sokumpheak, Suhana, Makara, Pheng, Srin, Sokthorn, Bosma, Pellegrino, Obadin, Bisan and Ngwa. Two of the players were introduced to the press for the first time, Koen Bosma and Va Sokthorn, although they have already played a number of practice matches for Crown and a third, Sary Matnorotin, who is in Japan right now and last season appeared for AEU, was also included in the news round-up.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

More Academy victories

PPCFC U-17s, back row, LtoR: Chanvuthy, Sakrovy, Noron, Chanchav, V Samnang, Titchhy. Front: Rozak, Phearath, Noeut, Muslim, Piphop (capt) - click to enlarge
Result: PPCFC Academy U-17s 23 Bong Paoun 0 (Cambodia U-17 Youth League).
As it was in their first meeting in the Youth League, it was all one-way traffic from the opening minute of this afternoon's game at Tonle Bati. Coach Bouy Dary used the game to give his squad players a run-out. The U-17s led 11-0 at the interval and top scorer for the game was Mat Sakrovy, who scored five goals in the first-half and another three after the break to hit 8. Mat Noron scored 4, captain Men Piphop scored 3, and Suon Noeut moved up from full-back to net a hat-trick as well. Yeu Muslim 2, Choun Chanchav, Long Phearath and Ian Sodavid also scored. More later.

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Samnang, Safy, Savey, Sovannaroth, Chanmony, Panha (capt). Front: Kakada, Pisoth, Piseth, S David, N David - click to enlarge

Result: PPCFC Academy U-15s 8 Chraing Chamres 1 (Cambodia U-15 Youth League).
The Academy U-15s made it six out of six with another comprehensive victory, but conceded their first goal of the season, a penalty. Mao Piseth top scored again, netting five goals, opening the scoring and grabbing another on the stroke of half-time. Chraing Chamres' only attack of the 1st half earned then a penalty, which they scored. After the break, Nop David scored from the penalty spot, Sin Kakada floated in a free-kick and Tong Chanmony fired in an unstoppable shot. Piseth took advantage of some weak defending with two goals from open play, before he wrapped it up from the penalty spot with his fifth. More later.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Crown much too strong

PPCFC v TriAsia, back row, LtoR: Srin, Obadin, Pheng, Bosma, Bisan, Yaty. Front: Sothy, Boris, Makara, Sokumpheak, Pellegrino - click to enlarge

Saturday 25 October 2014: Result: Phnom Penh Crown 5 TriAsia 2 (Friendly).
Crown dominated this practice match, switched to Olympic Stadium, from start to finish, and deservedly won but will be disappointed to concede two goals, as they look to their final preparations before their trip to Vietnam for the Toyota Mekong Club Championships. Strengthened with the return of five players from national team duty, it was fit-again George Bisan who rammed home Crown’s opening goal on 13 minutes. Adriano Pellegrino’s corner found Odion Obadin in space at the back post and his downward header was blasted home by last season’s top goalscorer, who returned to training this week after a couple of months on the sidelines. On 20 minutes, Koen Bosma’s low center found Leng Makara in acres of space but his side-foot effort missed the target. Kouch Dani fired TriAsia’s only opportunity high and wide as the first of three 35-minute periods came to a close. Four minutes after the restart, Pellegrino was fouled on the edge of the penalty box and Bosma wasted no time in spotting space inside the far post and his free-kick was aimed perfectly for Crown’s second goal. Sou Yaty recovered from a poor kick out by stopping TriAsia’s advance with his legs, with Crown quickly going up the other end to extend their lead on 43 minutes. Pellegrino took aim from thirty yards and his low skidding drive went through the arms and legs of the TriAsia goalkeeper and crossed the goal-line before he could recover. Dani struck the cross-bar moments before his teammates pulled a goal back through Sopheak as Crown’s defensive line caved in too easily. Less than a minute later, George Bisan was amongst the goals again as Pellegrino’s pass allowed Bosma all the time he needed to pick out Bisan at the far post with a pinpoint cross and the striker powered the ball home with a forceful header. 53 minutes on the clock.

Dutchman Bosma tried an audacious chip from just inside the half-way line and Obadin failed to keep his shot down as a corner was laid back into his path. Five minutes into the third period and substitute Baldwin Ngwa’s headed goal put Crown in total control. Sos Suhana picked out Va Sokthorn’s run into the box and his chest down and pass to Ngwa was spot-on. Two chances in a minute came and went as both Ngwa and Khim Borey missed the target, before Soeukirin made Crown pay for waiting for an offside whistle by firing home TriAsia’s second goal on 81 minutes. The goal will give coach Sam Schweingruber much to work on before the team head to Vietnam next Wednesday. Ngwa was denied by the keeper’s legs, who also saved Sokthorn’s 20-yard drive.  Borey missed a simple chance that was identical to Makara’s earlier miss and then sent a stooping header a foot wide. Ngwa was causing problems and went close with three more opportunities including a toe-poke against the upright from Borey’s incisive pass.   
PPCFC v TriAsia: Yaty (Ary 71), Pheng (Pisa 71), Srin (Da 58 (Sokheng 88)), Boris (Chhaya 105), Obadin, Sothy (Suhana 63 (Chanpolin 105)), Sokumpheak (Sodavid 88), Makara (Sothy 71 (Sovythang 88), Bosma (Sokthorn 71), Pellegrino (Baldwin 71), Bisan (Borey 63 (Titchhy 105)). Goals: Bisan 2 (13, 53), Bosma (39), Pellegrino (43), Ngwa (75).