Monday, September 29, 2014

U-15s three in three

PPCFC U-15s. Back Row, LtoR: Rafat, Sovannaroth, Sivey, Panha, Safy, Samnang (capt). Front: Kakada, Piseth, Nop David, Rina, San David - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15 Academy 4 Takeo 0 (Cambodia U-15 Youth League).
On a very soggy pitch at Tonle Bati, the Academy U-15s did their best to play football despite the awful conditions in their third U-15 Youth League game. Constant rain left patches of water on the playing surface, which curtailed much of the Academy's usual passing style. They took an early lead in the 35-minute match of two halves, through Mao Piseth in the 4th minute. Captain Svang Samnang's long distance drive was spilled by the Takeo goalkeeper and Piseth was on hand to poke in the loose ball. In the 15th minute, another strong run to the byeline and center by Samnang was nodded in by a stooping Piseth for their second goal. Six minutes later, a one-two between Piseth and Sin Kakada, saw the latter's delightful through ball turned in with an equally deft touch by Piseth for his hat-trick. In time added on, Kie Rina made a timely goal-line clearance to keep the interval score at 3-0 to Crown. Into the second half and Kakada sent Samnang rampaging through the middle but his shot was well saved by the keeper, who was hurt in the follow-up from Sok Panha. Coach Bouy Dary was comfortable enough to make three changes as Crown controlled the tempo and a fourthn goal arrived two minutes into stoppage time when Vuth Sophara's pass sent Piseth clear and his execution was spot-on for his, and Crown's fourth goal. That m,ade it three wins in as many games.

PPCFC U-15s v Takeo: Rafat, Rina (Sophara 68), Sovannaroth, Safy, Savey (Punlork 64), N David (Pisoth 61), S David, Samnang, Panha, Kakada, Piseth. Subs not used: Davann. Bookings: S David, Savey. MOTM: Piseth - 4 goal hero. Goals: Piseth 4 (4, 15, 21, 72).
PPCFC 1st Team, back row, LtoR: Kotamake, Sovythang, Bosma, Sokheng, Obadin, Ary. Front: Dara, Borey, Boris, Matnorotin, Da - click to enlarge

Result: PPCFC 1st Team 5 PPCFC U-17 Academy 0 (Friendly)
The Phnom Penh Crown senior team played an in-house practice match at RSN Stadium on Saturday afternoon (27 September) against the club's U-17 Academy team and had their work cut out during a first-half which the Academy held the upper hand. Yeu Muslim had an early chance for the youngsters which he fluffed, and then broke clear midway through the half, racing onto a Seut Baraing long ball, but Yok Ary stood up and diverted his shot wide. A back-pedalling Ary did well to tip a Mat Sakrovy left-foot dipping drive over the bar and just before the break, Odion Obadin's long legs did just enough to take Ouk Sovann's cross off the toes of Muslim. The only serious threat from the seniors came a minute earlier when a poor Kung Chanvuthy kick-out was returned by Khim Borey and Sary Matnorotin, on trial from AEU, twice crashed in drives which Chanvuthy saved at point-blank range on both occasions.

Tes Sophat, in charge of the seniors in Sam Schweingruber's absence, brought on his not-so-secret weapon, Baldwin Ngwa, at the break and he proved to be the difference between the two sides. Koen Bosma tried an effort from distance with less than a minute on the clock but it fizzed wide. Ngwa got his first shot on target a minute later, but Chanvuthy kept it out and Matnorotin blasted the rebound over the bar. The U-17s keeper was much busier in the second period and he slapped away another Bosma stinger before Ngwa opened the floodgates on 53 minutes. Borey's center to the near post was met by the Cameroon striker, who turned neatly and rolled his shot into the corner. Chanvuthy did well to push away Borey's 25-yard drive but with an hour gone Ngwa tapped in his second after the keeper fumbled a cross-shot from Borey. Soon after Ngwa headed wide and then over the top, Chanvuthy turned aside a Borey shot then pushed a cracking Bosma drive onto the cross-bar. At the other end, Mat Noron failed to compose himself and blasted well over from ten yards out, but that was an exception to the rule as the senior team continued to press. Ly Morslim and Ngwa set each other up, but both failed to hit the target. With the first-team leading by two goals, the Academy had a guilt-edged chance to get back into the game when Obadin was guilty of a trip on In Sodavid, but Suon Noeut blasted the ball well over from the penalty spot, with 7 minutes to go. A minute later, Ngwa won two challenges, fed George Bisan and he poked the ball home from close range. Another minute gone and the seniors added a fourth as Morslim found Pekko Kotamake's run into the box and the Finnish midfielder finished coolly. Two minutes remaining and Ngwa claimed his hat-trick when Morslim skipped down the right flank and crossed for the striker to find the target with another deadly touch. There was still time for Chanvuthy to deny Ngwa twice more and he then sent a header just wide of the upright as the final whistle blew. 
PPCFC 1st Team: Ary (Soksela 46), Dara (Pisa 24) Da, Boris, Obadin, Kotamake, Sokheng (Bisan 59), Matnorotin (Morslim 69), Borey, Sovythang (Ngwa 46), Bosma. MOTM: Ngwa. Goals: Ngwa 3 (53, 60, 88), Bisan (84), Kotamake (85).
PPCFC U-17s: Chanvuthy, Sovann (Chansopheak 59), Phearath (V Samnang 63), Chanchav (Sakrovy 83), Baraing (Ponvuthy 74), Chanpolin, Sodavid, Rozak (Piphop 17), Sakrovy (Noron 46), Ponvuthy (Senteang 46 (Muslim 86)), Muslim (Noeut 46).
PPCFC U-17s, Back Row, LtoR: Chanvuthy, Chanpolin, Chanchav, Rozak, Sodavid, Sakrovy. Front: Sovann, Ponvuthy, Muslim, Baraing, Phearath - click to enlarge

The new head coach of Boeung Ket is John McGlynn, the Englishman who parted company with Phnom Penh Crown a month ago, after a year or so as one of Sam Schweingruber's backroom team. He spent thirty years in Australia after emigrating from Liverpool, played in the forces team down under and coached teams in the Western Australia region of the country before coming over to Cambodia. Boeung Ket were looking for a new man at the helm after Prak Vuthy announced he was stepping down. He led them to the title in 2012 but had to settle for consecutive runners-up spots in the past two seasons.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Narrow defeat for Cambodia

Ouk Sothy (blue, 10) in action v Indonesia
After stumbling to a 4-1 defeat in Malaysia at the weekend, the Cambodia national team will feel much better about their showing in the second of their road-trip international friendlies, suffering a single-goal defeat to Indonesia in Surbaya this afternoon. And the game's only goal came from a penalty, conceded by Ros Samoeun, which left the players debating the award with the Malaysian referee, to no avail. Dutch-born Raphael Maitimo converted the spot-kick past Sou Yaty moments before the half-time whistle. Indonesia were wayward with most of their first-half chances though Prak Mony Udom went closest when he sent a shot across the face of the goal on 22 minutes. After the break Suong Virak was thwarted just before the hour, though the home side thought they'd made the game safe in the closing stages only for Christian Gonzales' goal to be ruled out for offside. As you might imagine, coach Lee Tae-Hoon was satisfied with his team's performance despite the defeat; "I think the outcome of the game is quite good. Our players played well. The team is grateful to Indonesia and PSSI, who've given us the opportunity to play today. Indonesia is a level above us, so this game provides us with good lessons." The Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl said the hot weather was a factor and he gave chances to players who hadn't played before; "Cambodia is not a good team but they made it difficult for us." After the reverse they suffered against Malaysia, Lee will be almost ecstatic that his team went down to only a single goal. The squad now return to Phnom Penh for more preparation ahead of their 1-game visit to Taiwan, which will be quickly followed by their AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos from 11 October. Four Phnom Penh Crown players started the match with a fifth, Hong Pheng, an unused substitute.
Cambodia v Indonesia: Yaty, Samoeun, Visal, Sovan, Daravorn, Srin (Chanrasmey 67), Sothy (Sothearath 46), Sokumpheak, Udom (Chhoeun 75), Virak (Sovannrithy 62), Soksana (Laboravy 42). Subs not used: Vichet, Piseth, Pheng, Vathanaka.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

On show

The PPCFC players at AEON Mall for the launch of the Toyota Mekong Cup
Almost as soon as the friendly match against NagaCorp finished yesterday, seven of the Phnom Penh Crown players headed to the AEON Mall for a launch by the Toyoya (Cambodia) Company of the upcoming Toyota Mekong Club Championship. On a stage in the middle of the new mall, the Crown players and general secretary Ly Heang responded to media questions and posed for photographs. Toyota are putting up a lot of money - $75K for the winners no less - for a competition to find what they are calling the Champion of Champions, of the Mekong region obviously. The players in attendance were Koen Bosma, Adriano Pellegrino, Bin Thierry, Kok Boris, Khim Borey, Yok Ary and Sos Suhana. Afterwards the players headed off for their Pchum Ben holiday break.

While everyone is enjoying their Pchum Ben holiday in Cambodia, Crown's head coach Sam Schweingruber will be spending the holidays in Japan, as he flies out for a week of instructing other coaches and 450 children in Nagoya, the third largest city in Japan. As a FIFA instructor, Sam will be supporting the Japan Football Association's grassroots program. He was recently doing the same thing in China for a month.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Two good halves

PPCFC V Naga starting XI, back row, LtoR: Chanpolin, Mathnorotin, Bosma, Borey, Sokheng, Ary. Front: Pellegrino, Da, Suhana, Pisa, Chhaya - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 3 NagaCorp 2 (Friendly).
Crown played their first pre-season practice match at RSN Stadium this afternoon and dominated for the majority of the game played in three periods of 30 minutes, beating Naga 3-2. Coach Sam Schweingruber sent out an experimental line-up for the first period which included trialist Sary Mathnorotin, new face Koen Bosma and two of the Academy players. The Naga goalkeeper was kept busy as Adriano Pellegrino tested him from distance and then Orn Chanpolin, sent in a low drive which the stopper did well to push around the post. On ten minutes Bosma tested his distance shooting but his effort sailed a foot wide. Three minutes later, the Dutchman opened the scoring with a 20-yard drilled shot that gave the keeper no chance. A free-kick from Khim Borey was saved with little seen of Naga as an attacking threat. Schweingruber made six changes at the break including Amm Sovythang, another trialist from Belgium. He tested the keeper after just a minute and then a deflected Pellegrino drive had the stopper back-pedalling to touch the ball over the bar. Another Borey free-kick was pushed wide and Odion Obadin was inches from scoring with a far post header from a Pellegrino corner. In Sodavid released Chea Dara into the box but he screwed his shot across the face of goal and wide. On 44 minutes, a quick throw by Bosma saw Pellegrino set up Sodavid and the 16-year old sent a 20-yard low drive into the corner to make it two, much to the delight of his teammates. With Crown in full control, Pellegrino's headed pass sent Baldwin Ngwa away and he turned Tieng Tiny inside out before unleashing a left foot drive into the far corner, with 55 minutes played. More changes at the end of the second period followed.

Naga's Barry Lelouma got a shot on target six minutes into the third period, though the referee adjudged Touch Sokheng had kicked the winger and Lelouma scored from the resulting penalty. Sovythang went past two defenders with ease but his shot was blocked and Ly Morslim's follow-up endured the same fate. As the game came to a close, Crown keeper Keo Soksela saved at the feet of Teab Vathanak, only for the referee to point to the penalty spot again. Despite the loud protests that followed, Lelouma netted his second spot-kick to end the game with the home side winning 3-2. 
PPCFC v NagaCorp: Ary (Soksela 61), Da (Pisa 61), Chhaya (Dara 31 (Sokheng 61)), Sokheng (Boris 31), Pisa (Obadin 31 (Dara 86)), Suhana (Chanpolin 61), Chanpolin (Sodavid 31 (Pekka 61)), Borey (Sovythang 31), Mathnorotin (Ngwa 31), Pellegrino (Borey 61 (Chhaya 82), Bosma (Morslim 61). Bookings: None. MOTM: Pellegrino. Goals: Bosma (13), Sodavid (44), Ngwa (55).
PPCFC v Naga, start of 2nd period, back row, LtoR: Ary, Bosma, Pellegrino, Boris, Ngwa, Obadin. Front: Da, Dara, Suhana, Sovythang, Sodavid - click to enlarge

Cambodia sunk

The Cambodia line-up v Malaysia. Srin is wearing 9, Yaty is 1 and Sokumpheak is 8! Pic by

The answer, as most people expected, was that Cambodia couldn't spring a surprise result, going down 4-1 to hosts Malaysia in a rare international friendly match this evening in Selangor. Substitute Sok Chanrasmey scored a consolation goal for Cambodia in a game that went pretty much to plan for the home team, who are in the middle of a series of friendlies before they participate in the AFF Susuki Cup. Cambodia too are hoping for a place in that competition, if they can get through the qualifiers being played next month in Laos. This game against Malaysia and one against Indonesia on 25 September are part of their build-up.
The Star Online had this match report from tonight's game: The Malaysians were quick off the block and forced four corners in quick succession in the opening five minutes. And they did not have to wait long to open the scoring, courtesy of midfielder Joseph Kallang Tie in the eighth minute. The Sarawak skipper dispossessed Cambodian defender Sok Sovan on the edge of the box and slotted home past the outrushing Sou Yaty. Malaysia’s second goal in the 15th minute had a touch of good luck. Striker Abdul Manaf Mamat’s stiff shot was parried by Yaty back into the danger area. The ball ricocheted off the unfortunate Moul Daravorn’s knee and into his own goal. Cambodia coach Lee Tae-Hoon threw the lively striker Sok Chanrasmey into the fray for the second half, and the change invigorated the visitors. Still, it was Malaysia who got their third goal in the 65th minute, with Joseph latching onto a through ball from Bobby Gonzales before applying a cool chipped finish. But there was no stopping Sok Chanrasmey on 80 minutes when he sprung the Malaysian offside trap to score. Substitute Baddrol Bakhtiar restored Malaysia’s three-goal advantage with a powerful strike from outside the box two minutes later, after another defensive error. Crown's Ouk Sothy and Hong Pheng eneterd the fray with ten minutes to go, marking their senior team debuts, alongside Ngoy Srin.
Cambodia NT v Malaysia: Yaty, Srin, Samoeun, Daravorn, Sovan, Sovannrithy, Sokumpheak (capt), Sothearoth, PM Udom, Chhoeun, Soksana.

Can Cambodia spring a surpise?

Cambodia's national team are in Malaysia for a friendly later tonight and if they pull off a shock victory, it could spell the end for the Malaysian head coach Dollah Salleh. He himself admits he's walking on thin ice after losing back-to-back friendlies to Tajikistan (4-1) and Indonesia (2-0) in recent weeks and that a convincing win over Cambodia is expected. For the visitors, a positive result would be an unexpected achievement, as of course Cambodia are preparing for the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying competition in Laos next month, while Malaysia, as one of the strongest teams in Southeast Asia, will be in the competition proper. There they will meet defending champions and co-hosts Singapore and three-time champions Thailand, alongwith one of the two qualifiers. That could be Cambodia, though most pundits are suggesting its more likely to be Myanmar and hosts Laos that go through from the five-team qualifying pool, that also includes Brunei and Timor-Leste. South Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon sprang a surprise earlier this week when he announced the 20-man Cambodia squad for the Malaysia game, and a further match against Indonesia on 25 September. Two players he's been supportive of since he took charge of the team in August 2010, Sos Suhana from Phnom Penh Crown and Boeung Ket defender Touch Pancharong have been dropped from the touring party, alongwith Kok Boris and Bin Thierry from Crown and Svay Rieng's keeper Sar Sophea and Hoy Phallin. The word is that the door has not been shut on their inclusion in the Suzuki Cup squad but it doesn't look likely they will make it. The match against Indonesia, led by Alfred Riedl and who've recently beaten Pakistan and Nepal and drawn with Yemen and Qatar in friendly games, whilst Cambodia have been completely absent from international matches for the whole of this year, is a replacement fixture after Lebanon withdrew. Fortunately, Cambodia were in the region. In the third of their Suzuki Cup warm-up matches, all away from home, Cambodia will play Chinese Taipei in Taiwan on 8 October, just a few days before they head to the qualifiers in Vientiane. Despite playing no senior international friendly matches for what seems like an eternity, Cambodia moved up two places in the FIFA world rankings to 199 in the latest table, published two days ago. They were previously at 201 out of a total of 208 countries but it seems the rankings pay scant attention to the fact that this national team has not played a match in anger since they lost 2-0 to Guam in November 2013. Mind-boggling.
The Cambodia NT squad v Malaysia & Indonesia: *Yaty, Vichet, Visal, Sovan, Samoeun, Piseth, *Srin, Daravorn, *Pheng, Sovannrithy, Udom, *Sokumpheak, *Sothy, Virak, Sothearath, Chanrasmey, Vathanaka, Chhoeun, Soksana, Laboravy. * denotes PPCFC players.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Late goals win it

PPCFC U-15s v CA. Back row, LtoR: Rafat, Chanmony, Sovannaroth, N David, Safy, Samnang (capt). Front: S David, Piseth, Chetra, Panha, Kakada - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15 Academy 2 Civil Aviation 0 (U-15 Youth League).
Played at Tonle Bati, this was a tight game in Crown's second Cambodia U-15 Youth League program. Returning from injury, Mao Piseth fired over when well placed, Sin Kakada had a shot well saved and on the half-hour Piseth brought out a brilliant stop from the CA keeper. Goal-less at half-time. Crown suffered a blow ten minutes into the second period when Yet Chetra was booked twice in the space of two minutes and saw red. Both challenges were mis-timed and the dismissal was warranted. However the reduction to ten-men inspired the Crown Academy boys who quickly took control and on 59 minutes they took the lead. Svang Samnang, more often wearing the gloves between the goal-posts, strode confidently forward from his deep-lying midfield position, broke through two tackles and calmly slotted the ball into the corner of the net. On 68 minutes the result was sealed. Kakada sent over an inch-perfect cross and Piseth was on hand to head the ball inside the far post and give the Academy a 2-0 winning scoreline. 

PPCFC v Civil Aviation: Rafat, Chanmony, Chetra, Safy, Sovannaroth, Samnang, S David, N David, Kakada, Panha, Piseth. Subs not used: Pisoth, Savey, Punlork, Rina, Samel, Davann. Bookings: Chetra (+ red card). Goals: Samnang (59), Piseth (68).
Footnote: The players who didn't play against Civil Aviation played an 8-a-side against a FFC Academy team a few hours later and won't be keen to remember the scoreline, losing 11-0, during the three periods of twenty minutes each half. Their excuse was they had eaten too much at lunchtime.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cambodia held

The starting XI for Cambodia v JFL
Seven Phnom Penh Crown players took to the pitch for the Cambodia national team in this afternoon's 2-2 draw with the Japan Football League's touring team in a friendly at Olympic Stadium. Kouch Sokumpheak led the team in the goalless first-half alongside Ngoy Srin and Sos Suhana. Both teams struggled to get out of first gear in the opening 45 minutes in front of a healthily-sized audience, though the touring team, who'd beaten both Laos and Myanmar U-23s 3-0 in recent days, were the crisper passing and moving of the two sides. Starting the second-half for the NT were Kok Boris, Ouk Sothy and Sou Yaty, with Crown's Hong Pheng coming on for Sothy for the final thirteen minutes. Bin Thierry didn't get off the bench. The opening twenty minutes of the second half was all Cambodia. JFL sat back and allowed the home team to dominate and Prak Mony Udom saw his effort tipped over the top. A ball in the face for Sothy made him see stars as his legs buckled and he crumpled to the ground, and it took the NT coach Lee Tae-Hoon running onto the pitch for local referee Thong Chankethya to stop play. Why the referee didn't understand the seriousness of the situation is beyond me - everyone else did. Ten minutes in and a mistake by the JFL keeper and Chhin Chhoeun fired home the opening salvo. Udom and Khuon Laboravy also went close before Sok Chanrasmey got the final touch at close quarters to send the home fans into raptures. Two goals ahead and looking good. But that's where it ended as the visitors took back control in no uncertain terms. Sou Yaty was the busiest man on the pitch for the last 25 minutes. He pulled off a great save but had no chance with a powerful header from Tanaka on 74 minutes. It was a poorly-defended corner in truth. In the last four minutes of the game, Yaty made three reflex saves, getting himself injured in the process as he clattered into the post, and it came as no surprise when JFL equalised three minutes into stoppage time. The leveller came through Suzuki from the edge of the area as Cambodia were slow to close down. So at the end, a disappointing result for the NT against a team put together from Japan's fourth tier of football. That twenty-minute spell was enough to get the fans on their feet but successfully defending a lead must be the priority for the NT to work on ahead of their Suzuki Cup exploits next month. Upcoming away international games in Malaysia and Chinese Taipei lie ahead before they set sail for Laos.

Crown go down

PPCFC v Albirex, back row, LtoR: Ngwa, Chanpolin, Obadin, Sovythang, Sodavid, Ary. Front: Da, Sokheng, Bosma, Dara, Mathnorotin - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Albirex Niigata 3 (Friendly).
The result didn't go to plan in this afternoon's practice match at the Navy field after Crown led 1-nil at the half-time break. Koen Bosma played after arriving in the country from his home in Holland the day before. Also appearing were Amm Sovythang, a Khmer from Belgium and Sary Mathnorotin of AEU, both looking to secure a place in Crown's squad ahead of the new season. Chea Dara blasted over the top and Bosma's 30-yard free-kick was tipped around the post early on. Yok Ary had to be quick to save with his feet on a bouncy surface. Bosma's shot on the turn was charged down and Baldwin Ngwa headed the ball home, only for it to be ruled out for offside. The Crown goal came on 33 minutes when Sovythang cut inside and his shot looped into the net from a defender's deflection. Ly Morslim and Orn Chanpolin also went close as Crown dominated the opening half. After the break it was a different story. A challenge by substitute Sraing Titchhy in the second minute of the restart gave Albirex a penalty which Yok Ary guessed correctly and saved. They did hit the net three minutes later and took the lead on the hour after Ary failed to collect a corner. Ten minutes from time, Albirex scored a third, though it looked yards offside, to seal a rare win. There was still time for Bosma to try a final attempt, which was well saved.

PPCFC v Albirex: Ary, Pisa, Da, Sokheng (Apollo 81), Obadin, Chanpolin, Sodavid (Titchhy 46), Sovythang (Baraing 56), Mathnorotin (Morslim 32 (Borey 60)), Bosma, Ngwa. Goal: OG (33).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friendly and with the press

Khim Borey (red) with Becamex's Nguyen Anh Duc earlier today
Eight players from Phnom Penh Crown will be in the mix to play against the visiting Japan Football League team at Olympic Stadium in tomorrow's friendly match, kick off at 4pm. The JFL, from the country's fourth tier of football which hosts their best amateur clubs, have already beaten the Laos U-23s and met Myanmar U-23s, and arrive in Phnom Penh for a match against the senior Cambodia team, who are in training camp for their AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying games in mid-October. The 8 players include Bin Thierry, who returned to the squad earlier this week after his knee injury cleared up sufficiently for him to resume training. The others are Sou Yaty, Ngoy Srin, Hong Pheng, Kouch Sokumpheak, Ouk Sothy, Kok Boris and Sos Suhana.

This morning saw Khim Borey and general secretary Ly Heang represented Phnom Penh Crown at the press launch in Hanoi, of the Toyota Mekong Club Championship competition. A well-attended press conference took place with Borey rubbing shoulders with Becamex Binh Duong striker, Nguyen Anh Duc, a regular in the Vietnam national team and with Becamex for many seasons. Crown will meet Becamex in the semi final at the Vietnam champions home ground on 31 October. The other semi-final is between HAGL Attapeu (Laos) and Ayeyawady United (Myanmar); with the final due on 2 November. Substantial prize money of $75,000 goes to the winning team.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

23 without reply

PPCFC U-15s, back row, LtoR: Rafat, Safy, Savey, Sovannaroth, Chanmony, N David (capt). Front Row: Sophara, Panha, S David, Kakada, Chetra - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown U-15s 23 Kandal 0 (U-15 Youth League).
The Crown Academy U-15s started the defence of their U-15 Cambodia Youth League title with what can only be described as a comprehensive victory. The two halves were 35 minutes each and Crown led 12-0 at half-time. The game was played at Tonle Bati. New face Vuth Sophara started the rout on five minutes with a neat lob. Pich Sovannaroth's bye-line center was headed home by Sok Panha, who went onto score 9 goals, soon after. Panha was a replacement in attack for Mao Piseth, who injured his groin in the warm-up. The Kandal keeper couldn't keep Tong Chanmony's shot from creeping over the line and was helpless as Panha finished off Sin Kakada's cross. Kakada himself scored when his center found its way into the net at the far post. He struck again on 23 minutes, taking a San David pass into his stride before firing home. Sophara grabbed his second with a well-measured 25-yard lob less than a minute later. The goals were coming thick and fast and the next five all came from the boot of Panha. San David won a tackle and set him free down the middle for an easy finish. A great Kakada pass saw Panha shoot straight through the Kandal keeper. Nop David weaved his way through three challenges and set up Panha for another, Chea Savey's pass found the striker in space and he made it eleven before Panha scored his seventh of the game from Sophara pass on the stroke of half-time. One-way traffic doesn't really do the sentence justice.

A tired goal-kick went straight to Kakada and he scored two minutes on from the restart. Sophara and Panha both then struck the woodwork before Chanmony robbed a defender to score with ease. Moments later he repeated the feat, winning a tackle with the keeper to score. A Panha shot was well stopped by the over-worked goalkeeper only for Sophara to knock in the rebound. Another weak goal-kick was returned with Panha rolling it in, and then Chanmony tapped home after Panha's unselfish pass. Chanmony capitalised on another poor kick out to score, Panha hit the cross-bar before Sophara made it twenty goals, smashing Kakada's pass into the roof of the net. Panha took his personal tally to nine after making the opening himself. Chanmony netted his double hat-trick tally with a diving header form Kakada's cross, and the final word went to Sophara, the new boy, who crowned his fine game with yet another lob from distance.ment in attack, Sok Panha scored 9 goals, 7 of them in the first-half. Tong Chanmony scored 6, Vuth Sophara on his debut, scored 5 and Sin Kakada netted 3 goals
PPCFC U-15s v Kandal: Rafat, Chanmony, Chetra (Samel 52), Safy (Rina 47), Sovannaroth, Savey, N David (capt), S David (Pisoth 43), Kakada, Sophara, Panha. Subs not used: S Samnang, Punlork, Darapich, Davann. Goals: Panha 9 (8, 15, 28, 29, 32, 34, 36, 52, 63), Chanmony 6 (14, 40, 41, 54, 59, 65), Sophara 5 (5, 24, 50, 62, 69), Kakada 3 (17, 23, 37).
LtoR: Tong Chanmony (6 goals), Sok Panha (9 goals) and Vuth Sophara (5 goals) - click to enlarge

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Baldwin seals it

PPCFC 1st half, back row, LtoR: Obadin, Borey, Ngwa, Sokheng, Da, Ary. Front Row: Chhaya, Chanpolin, Sodavid, Titchhy, Morslim - click to enlarge
Result: Phnom Penh Crown XI 2 Albirex Niigata 1 (Friendly).
Crown's pre-season got off to a pleasing start with a good first 45 minutes in this afternoon's practice match against Albirex Niigata at the Navy field. Crown began their training just a few days ago whilst Albirex have been have been training for months as they await their MCL play-off match. With 4 Academy players starting, and Orn Chanpolin the pick of the Crown side, the first goal came on 22 minutes as Kim Chhaya touched a Khim Borey free-kick onto Baldwin Ngwa and his bouncing shot crept inside the far post. Borey and Ly Morslim had already gone close to giving Crown the lead. Chhaya saw his 25-yard screamer tipped over by the keeper, though Albirex hit the post in a rare break. Ngwa struck again, on the half hour, nicking the ball off the goalkeeper and tapping it over the goal-line. Crown made five changes at the break. The second-half opened up with a headed goal for Albirex after just 28 seconds, as Crown were caught cold. Chea Dara had a fierce shot pushed over the bar, Ngwa headed a free-kick just wide and the same player volleyed over from close in. The performance intensity slowed in the second half because of the hot conditions but a good first work-out nonetheless.

PPCFC v Albirex: Ary (Soksela 46), Da (Sovann 46), Titchhy (Baraing 46), Sokheng (Sodavid 79), Obadin, Chanpolin (Apollo 67), Sodavid (Mathnorotin 46), Chhaya (Dara 46), Morslim (Alex 67), Borey (Chhaya 79), Ngwa. Goals: Ngwa 2 (22, 30)
PPCFC 2nd half, back row, LtoR: Obadin, Sokheng, Ngwa, Mathnorotin, Soksela, Sovann. Front Row: Chanpolin, Borey, Baraing, Morslim, Dara - click to enlarge

Thursday, September 4, 2014

U-15s fixtures

The PPCFC U-15s squad; Back Row LtR-Chea Savey, Yet Chetra, Tong Chanmony, Sok Panha, Mao Piseth, Chriv Sokundavann, Yue Safy, Kung Rafa, Pich Sovannaroth. Front Row - Mit Samel, Lim Pisoth, Nann Punlork, Kie Rina, San David, Sin Kakada, Vuth Sopheara, Nop David
The fixtures for the 2014 Cambodia Youth League U-15 competition, with all matches to be played at Tonle Bati on Sunday mornings, have just been announced. Phnom Penh Crown Academy U-15s begin this Sunday (7 Sept) with a match against Kandal at 10am. There are 9 teams in league and the team with the most points after 8 games will be the champions. The Academy fixtures are:
7 Sep Vs Kandal - 10am
14 Sep Vs Civil Aviation - 10am
28 Sep Vs Takeo PM - 10am
12 Oct Vs Svay Rieng - 10am
19 Oct Vs Chhlam Samut - 8am
26 Oct Vs Chraing Chamres - 10am
16 Nov Vs CCF - 10am
23 Nov Vs Cambodia FFC Academy - 10am.

Only four teams have entered the U-17 Youth League and fixtures, also at Tonle Bati, are not due to start until 5 October, that's if they start at all.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Crown to face V-League champs

Sam Schweingruber speaking to the media
At the same time as Phnom Penh Crown received their official invitation to join the Toyota Mekong Club Championship at the weekend, it was revealed that their opponents in the semi-final will be the Eximbank Vietnamese League champions Becamex Binh Duong on 31 October at the home of the V-League team, the Go Dau stadium, just outside of Ho Chi Minh City. That's the toughest draw possible for Crown, with the Laos champions, HAGL Attapeu facing the winners of the Myanmar Ooredoo Cup, Ayeyawady United in the other semi-final. The final will be played two days later. With big prize money up for grabs - the winners receive $75,000 while the 4th-placed team gets $10,000 - winning that semi-final match has both national pride and monetary rewards at stake. Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber, whose team starts back for pre-season training today, had this to say about the competition. "We hope that all our players will be fit and ready at the end of October - obviously we'll have to wait and see. Right now Thierry is struggling with a knee injury, but we hope its nothing serious and he is back to full strength soon. We are going to be short in numbers during our pre-season, which is a big concern as we are without our national team players until 11 days before the Mekong Cup - which is a serious challenge to ideal preparations. I've started to look at the 3 teams that we might play and started to request information - but so far have not had the time to start a detailed study. Now we know that for the first game we will face the champions of Vietnam, Binh Duong. So far I have only seen a few small clips of their last games and I hope I can study them in more detail soon. From what I understand, we can register 5 foreign players and have 4 of them involved in the game, so I expect our foreign players to play an important role in helping us get the best possible result. Can we win? You never know, football can bring surprises. Sure, we know that on paper the V-League is much stronger than our league in Cambodia and that the teams have bigger budgets and better players, more experience and so on. Binh Duong is a very good team and we need to prepare as well as possible, to be ready to give our very best and with some luck, maybe we can surprise them. A lot of things will need to go perfect for us. It's a great challenge and we don't have that much to lose, we are the underdogs, that can help us."
For Binh Duong it was the club's third championship success after getting into the top division in 2004. They won it in 2007 and 2009 and progressed from 8th spot in 2013 to become this year's champions. However, they suffered a setback in the Vietnam National Cup final, losing to unfancied Haiphong.
Becamex Binh Duong receiving their 2014 Championship trophy