Kouch Sokumpheak, Crown's matchwinner, take a rest at the final whistle
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4 June 2011
PPCFC 1 National Defense Ministry 0 (Metfone C-League)
Phnom Penh Crown's caretaker coach Bouy Dary declared himself satisfied with the result, the 1-0 victory over the Army took Crown back to the top of the Metfone C-League table, but not with the performance. "I tried a 4-4-3 formation in the first half but there was not enough movement or support, so I changed it to 4-4-2 in the second half and we played much better. I also made some changes amongst the players as I wanted to use my fast wingers and the result was we played better and we got the result we wanted." Crown now have an 11-day break until they travel to Singapore to play SAFFC in the RHB Singapore Cup on 16 June. But their concentration was firmly on this domestic league match against 3rd-placed Army and the need for a win to take back their top spot from Naga. With the midweek departure of head coach Bojan Hodak, Bouy Dary has been given the task of supervising Crown's first-team duties until a replacement is appointed. For this match he rested Chan Dara and Kenny Nwafor and brought back the three players suspended for the Kirivong clash last week, and included Sun Sovannrithy at right-back.
As the coach surmised, Crown will not be happy with their first-half performance. They failed to pose enough goal threat during the opening period and creativity was at a premium. The Army had to replace their goalkeeper after 20 minutes when Oum Vichet's brave dive at the feet of Odion Obadin left him with a cut hand. Sou Yaty took over. Six minutes from the break, Yaty was well-placed to collect a powerful 25-yard shot from San Narith but that was about the sum of Crown's offensive intent as the first-half petered out. In the final moments of the half though, the Army looked to have taken the lead. A point blank header by Oum Kumpheak from a corner looked destined for the net until Crown keeper Peng Bunchhay reacted with lightning reflexes to fingertip the ball over the crossbar.
Crown began the second-half in a much more determined mood and took the game to the Army, camping in their half for most of the next 45 minutes. A free-kick from Sun Sopanha sailed just over the cross-bar, as did another 25-yard effort from San Narith. Kouch Sokumpheak combined well with Chan Chaya but the latter ballooned his drive well over from the edge of the area. Changes to their formation and personnel began to bring Crown some success on the flanks and one of the substitutes, Suong Virak, poked his shot wide as he was challenged by Sou Yaty. The winning goal finally arrived with eight minutes remaining on the clock. Chan Chaya rode his luck on one of his signature mazy runs, got a fortunate break and laid the ball into the path of Kouch Sokumpheak, who picked his spot from six yards out. It was no more than Crown deserved but it had taken its time in coming. That was it as far as goalmouth action was concerned, Crown collected the three points without ever reaching top gear and return to the top of the Metfone C-League table.
PPCFC line-up v National Defense Ministry: Bunchhay, Sovannrithy, Sothearith (Dara 72), Tiny, Obadin, Narong (Ratana 65), Narith, Sopanha, Chaya, Sokumpheak, Njoku (Virak 55). Subs not used: Visokra, Vanthan, Nwafor, Sophanal, Sophat, Sochivorn, H Pheng, S Pheng. Bookings: Sovannrithy, Ratana.
PPCFC v National Defense Ministry. Back Row LtoR: Narong, Sovannrithy, Obadin, Tiny, Njoku, Bunchhay. Front Row: Narith, Sopanha, Sokumpheak, Chaya, Sothearith.
6 June 2011
PPCFC 'B' 5 Asia Euro University 2 (Friendly)
A game scheduled to allow some of the Phnom Penh Crown squad members some match practice, saw a Crown 'B' team beat Asia Euro University 5-2 at the club's Tuol Kork training headquarters. The goals came from Hong Pheng, Hong Ratana and trialist Takahito Ota in the first half, with Hong Pheng with his second and Chim Rathanak completing the scoring for Crown.
7 June 2011
Cambodia 1 Malaysian Olympic U-23 XI 0 (International Friendly)
Phnom Penh Crown striker Kouch Sokumpheak fired Cambodia into a tenth minute lead in this friendly encounter at the Olympic Stadium, which turned out to be the game's only goal. Sokumpheak, who was easily the best player on show, shimmied his way into the box, leaving two defenders in his wake before firing a low drive under the Malaysian goalkeeper to give Cambodia a great start to the match. Chances were at a premium throughout the match which suffered from a deluge of heavy rain during the second half that left the pitch underwater for the last twenty minutes. A touch of red mist ten minutes from the end saw Crown defender Tieng Tiny issued with a straight red card for a blatant push in the back of Abdul Jusoh, after the midfielder had stuck a knee in Tiny's back. No excuses, it was a poor reaction from Tiny. Crown's Sun Sopanha started the match in central midfield and Phoung Narong entered the game as a very late substitute to complete the Phnom Penh Crown involvement in this international friendly.
8 June 2011
PPCFC 6 Cambodia U-19 National XI 1 (Friendly)
Phnom Penh Crown beat the Cambodia U-19 national team 6-1 in a friendly match at the Olympic Stadium. Most of the goals came in the first-half when Crown fielded a pretty strong line-up. The U-19's scored first through PKR's Chea Samnang but then were made to pay for their indolence with Kingsley Njoku scoring a hat-trick, two for Hong Pheng and a 2nd half effort from Sok Pheng, during which both sides made numerous substitutions.