PPCFC v Prek Pra Back Row LtoR: Narong, Sopanha, Tiny, Obadin, Sothearith. Front Row: Ota, Virak, Chaya, Bunchhay, Narith, S Pheng.
Njoku on the mark
16 July 2011
PPCFC 4 Prek Pra Keila 0 (Metfone C-League)
A goal by Kingsley Njoku just twelve seconds after arriving on the pitch was the icing on the cake for Phnom Penh Crown, as they coasted to a 4-0 win over perennial strugglers Prek Pra Keila, though they didn't find the Muslim-backed club a pushover by any means. Determined to maintain their lead at the top of the Metfone C-League, Crown coach David Booth made just one change to his starting line-up, reintroducing San Narith at right-back.
Prek Pra had the first shot on target when Adebayo Jimiv tried his luck from 30 yards, with Peng Bunchhay tipping the effort over the crossbar. However in the 3rd minute, Crown got their noses in front when Odion Obadin's ball forward was flicked on by the head of Sok Pheng and Suong Virak used his speed to outrun the defence and kept his cool by slipping the ball under Yok Ary in the Prek Pra goal. Pra Pra's only other shot on target in the whole game came two minutes later when Feut Sulkiply slipped his marker but fired straight at Bunchhay and that was the last we saw of Prek Pra's goal threat. Sok Pheng was wayward with his finishing on the half hour before Virak was denied a second goal by a fingertip Yok Ary save a minute before the break. In the first minute of time added on, Sun Sopanha timed his pass to perfection, the recipient, Chan Chaya ran on, left Yok Ary on the floor with a dummy before firing the ball into an empty net for Crown's second goal.
It took just four minutes of the second half for Crown to increase their lead. Sopanha's deft touch set Suong Virak skating clear and as Yok Ary left his line, he slipped the ball to Sok Pheng who simply couldn't miss from a yard out. Pheng did miss two more guilt-edged chances, the second bringing out a brilliant point-blank save from Ary before he was replaced by Kingsley Njoku on 55 minutes. The substitution was made as Crown lined up for a corner and Njoku made his way into the penalty box. Sopanha's corner to the near post was flicked on by Chan Chaya and Njoku had the simplest of tasks to touch the ball over the goal-line, a mere 12 seconds after entering the field. Perhaps the quickest goal ever scored by a player in the C-League?
Kouch Sokumpheak joined the fray and should've done better when presented with a good opportunity by Virak, but he shot weakly at the keeper. Virak then fired a fierce 25-yard effort into Yok Ary's hands. On 72 minutes, substitute Hong Ratana also found Ary a difficult obstacle to by-pass as the keeper blocked his shot. Three minutes later Ratana lofted his shot over an empty goal from 25 yards after Ary had left his line, chasing after Njoku. The Nigerian striker was tackled as he was about to pull the trigger moments later from ten yards out and then fired a drive across the face of goal after being forced out wide. That was it as far as goalmouth action was concerned with Crown coach David Booth's brief aftermatch assessment; "I'm pleased we won again but there's room for improvement. We gave them too much space and possession, especially in the first-half. We can get better."
The British-born coach continued: "We scored good goals but we didn't press the advantage when we had it. The uneven ground didn't help but our passing wasn't good enough today And we slowed the game down too much. To be honest there wasn't much to choose between the two sides in the first half except that we scored our goals. At half-time I asked for more forward movement and it worked. The second half was a little better but I set high standards, I want us to be a good team with good players. We'll talk this week and try to organise things a bit better ahead of our next game."
PPFC line-up: Bunchhay, Narith, Sothearith, Tiny, Obadin, Narong, Ota, Sopanha, Virak (Ratana 70), Chaya (Sokumpheak 63), S Pheng (Njoku 55). Subs not used:Visokra, Bunna, Dara, Vanthan, Sovan, Sovannrithy, Sophat, H Pheng. Bookings:None.
Kingsley Njoku reflects on his goal just 12 seconds after joining the game
Crown Academy win in style
16 July 2011
The Academy boys with club president Rithy Samnang, APFA's Andy Smith and coach Bouy Dary
What was seen as a potential test for the Phnom Penh Crown Academy boys turned out to be a rout against the Festival U-13 champions from Kompong Chhnang. The youngsters from the Cambodia Foundation Organization that triumphed in last week's Festival of Football for U-13s were simply no match for the passing ability of the Crown Academy, who took charge of the game early on and never released their grip. The final score of 13-1 was kind to the visitors, with the Academy boys missing as many as they scored. Mat Sakrovy netted the first after three minutes, added a second ten minutes later before Ken Chansopheak and Orn Chanpolin with a long range effort doubled the score. Two goals near half-time, both great efforts from Pov Ponvuthy, gave the Academy a clear 6-0 lead at the interval. Coach Bouy Dary rang the changes at the interval and Long Phearath, who was in goal for the first-half, stepped up as striker and scored two goals within five minutes of the restart. His reward for the two goals was to be dropped into defence. Vat Samnang scored a stunning 20 yard free-kick, before Phoeun Sopheak moved up from defence to score the first of a notable hat-trick, displaying neat ball control and a cool finish way beyond his years. Theang Chhaya, the game's smallest player, raced through to score before the visitors got their consolation goal from a well-directed free-kick. Sopheak completed his hat-trick with another solo effort as the referee brought the one-sided game to a close and the Academy recorded a memorable 13-1 victory. It was essentially a masterclass in youth football and impressed the watching Andy Smith, the managing director of Crown's Academy partners, the Asia Pacific Football Academy, who'd come to Cambodia from New Zealand to assess the progress being made by the Academy boys.