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Cambodia edge Malaysian U23s

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Cambodia’s match-winner Kouch Sokumpheak skips away from a sliding challenge from Malaysian U23 team’s Abdul Shukur Dusoh during their international friendly game yesterday at Olympic Stadium.

Ahead of their June 29 World Cup qualifier against Laos, Cambodia scored a morale-boosting 1-0 victory yesterday over the Malaysian U23 Olympic team in a  friendly at Olympic Stadium.

The only goal of a match ravaged by rain during the last 20 minutes came early in the first session when Kouch Sok-umpeak’s right foot brokered no answer from the visitors’ goalkeeper, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.

This is the first win for Cambodia in recent times against a squad from their South East Asian rivals.

The Kingdom’s South Kor-ean coach, Lee Tae Hoon, was guarded in his appraisal, saying the victory was a good sign but he definitely wanted more from the team.

“I want them to perform at a higher level of efficiency,” Lee told the Post.

“There were some good phases during the match, but there were also some terrible choices. What we need is a good balance.”

Striker Sokumpheak put his mark on the fixture after just 10 minutes by displaying superb individual speed and ball control after getting hold of an aerial delivery from mid-field.

He craftily unlocked the defence and crashed the ball through Che Mat to send the sizeable band of home supporters into raptures.

In terms of possession, the hosts were clearly doing a grand job. With a tight back line monitoring the break- aways, the Malaysians were under enormous pressure.

Seconds before the break,     however, came a rare moment of anguish for the Cambodian defenders when a melee brought Malaysian defender Mohamad Fadhli Shas within arm’s length of Ouk Mich, with a goal firmly in sight. Amazingly, the Cambodian stopper recovered in time to avert the danger.

Light rain greeted the players on their return from the break and the floodlights were switched on to deal with the gathering gloom.

Coach Lee brought on Prak Mony Udom for Sam El Nasa and  there were some promising moves by Cambodia.

A header from Chhin Chhoeun sailed over the bar when he had the Malaysian goal at his mercy. On the break, midfielder Faris Ramlan came threateningly close to an equaliser.

The only incident of note in the second half was when a ghastly challenge by Tieng Tiny on Shukur Juoh was penalised with a red card by referee Thong Chanketya.

With conditions on the pitch getting worse by the minute, Lee Tae Hoon pulled out forwards Sokumpheak and Khuon Laboravy to give  Mat Hassan and Sos Souhana, who as Prek Pra Keila team-mates were making their first appearances at international level, some playing time.

Tum Saray and In Vicheka were also substituted in.

The visitors made several of their own changes, but none could make an impact.

Guiding the ball through the puddles in torrential rain was no joke for the players, though there were moments of hilarity at both ends to amuse the crowd.


Police hold off Shark attack

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Chhlam Samuth’s Paul Olabode (left) tries to pass National Police Commissary’s Sob Ravy during their Metfone C-League match at Olympic Stadium yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

A dominant second half display by National Police Commissary earned them a comfortable 3-1 victory over Chhlam Samuth in their Metfone C-League tie yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Earlier, back markers Prek Pra Keila and Rithy Sen ended their game locked at 1-1.

The later match between the two league newcomers had all the trappings of a goalless affair till well past the half way stage. But all of a sudden, a clash among equals turned dramatically into an exciting late Police charge.

Long Nasy set the ball rolling when he came up with a 69th minute strike. Moeung Phanith doubled the lead nine minutes later, which was immediately followed by a third from Meas Sophanna.

Shell-shocked by this traumatic twist, the Sea Sharks pulled one back through Sim Vutha but it proved too little too late.

The victory brings the Police back on their feet after the fellow promotees Rithy Sen upset the form book when the two sides met a week ago, resulting in an unexpected 3-3 draw. There has been a noticeable decline in the Sea Sharks’ performances after a rousing start to their first campaign in the top tier.

Search for first win continues

Earlier in the day, the battle of the tailenders ended all square when Prek Pra Keila and Rithy Sen emerged with a point each to double their count at the wrong end of the leader board.

Prek Pra had every reason to believe that their 17th minute goal by Sos Souhana might bring a winning smile to their vibrant fan base. But Rithy Sen, obviously relishing their new African reinforcements, had other ideas. 

The man of the moment for the Kampong Chhnang outfit was Tam Yousos, who produced a decisive leveller as late as the 83rd minute. The deadlock meant that both these teams remain winless, approaching the halfway stage of the competition.

Interview: Former Coach Scott O’Donell on football in Cambodia

May 23, 2011 Leave a comment
Scott O’Donell
Managing the national team of Cambodia presents a unique set of
challenges.  For enthusiasts of the game interested in knowing about the
challenges and explore about football in the small South East Asian
nation of Cambodia, there is no better man to talk than Scott O’Donnell.
 A former footballer for Australia, O’Donnell was at the helm of the
Cambodia national team for a twin span that lasted 4 years.  When
Sportskeeda’s Renato caught up with the former Cambodia manager,
O’Donnell spoke about his past as a footballer, mainly in Singapore
where he played in the first edition of the Professional Football
League, and matters in Cambodia.
 
How do you analyse your experience in Cambodia?
It was rewarding and frustrating at the same time. I enjoyed working
with the players and my coaching staff, but after the President Ravy
Khek left Cambodian Football Federation (CFF), it was increasingly
difficult to get the support from CFF. With very little development
taking place it was always going to difficult for any coach to achieve
any kind of success as the players are not taught the basics – tactical
and technical aspects of the game – at a young age.
Do you rate the work of ex-President Ravy Khek as good at CFF?   What are your impressions about Cambodian football directors?
Ravy has not been involved with CFF for a few years now. I have no further comment to make about CFF.
What is the atmosphere like in the
Cambodian League? There are many Africans playing in Cambodia. Do you
think it is positive for development of Cambodian football?
Football is by far the number one sport in Cambodia. There are many
Africans playing in the local league, unfortunately the quality of these
players is not great. I doubt most of them are Professional players as
many are no better than the local players. So I don’t think the majority
of the current crop of players are helping to develop the game in
Cambodia. If the clubs were able to sign experienced, quality
professional foreign players, then I think it would undoubtedly help the
development of the game in Cambodia.
What are your memories from the first Singaporean Professional Football League editions in 1996 and ’97?
I played for four years in the S-League. The first year was amazing
with the amount of publicity, press and TV coverage and good crowds.
Those were very exciting times to be playing in Singapore. There were
some very good foreign players and the atmosphere was great.
Unfortunately that is no longer the case. The interest in local football
has evaporated and I have to say that the quality of foreign players
leaves a lot to be desired compared to 1996.
Singapore has vision and organization and Malaysia has big
crowds and passion. Where did you enjoy working as player and coach the
most?
Even now Malaysia is struggling with crowds. Only Selangor, Kelantan
and Terengganu manage to get good crowds these days. I enjoyed playing
in both Singapore and Malaysia. Both nations are very passionate about
football. Obviously playing in front of big crowds in Malaysia was great
from a player’s view point. I think it is very difficult at present in
Singapore to compete with the likes of the EPL and UEFA Champions
League.  Most people prefer to watch those leagues instead of the local
ones, but I think Football Association Singapore (FAS) are doing the
best to try and turn things around.  But for that to happen they need
the support of the clubs as well.
You played in Singapore against two all-time goalscoring
greats in the S-League: the Brazilian Egmar Gonçalves and the Croatian
Mirko Grabovac. Which of them was the more difficult opponent?
They were both very different players, both very good. I marked some
very good strikers in Australia and Malaysia too. Egmar was a very
consistent player for so long for Home United FC. He was strong and had
the knack of being in the right place at the right time to score so many
goals. We enjoyed some good battles on the field but I think there was
mutual respect between the two of us. Mirko Grabovac was a different
player to Egmar. Probably technically more skillful than Egmar but not
as physical or mobile, but still a very good striker.
 
We sincerely thank Scott O’Donnell for his valuable time and thoughts
and wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours.
 
Sports Keeda

Police stun Naga, Kirivong riot

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment
New entrants National Police Commissary kickstarted their Metfone
C-League campaign with a well merited 2-1 victory over traditional
heavyweights Naga Corp at Olympic Stadium yesterday.
Kirivong’s Meak Chhordaravuth’s scores his side’s second goal during their match against Prek Pra yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
In a
spirited show of controlled aggression and creativity upfront, the
Police rallied superbly back to first level an early Naga goal and then
assume command late in the game to earn three precious points.

A
snap goal by Naga frontliner Chin Chum came as a counter punch after
their opposition had missed the target more than once. But the former
league champions found the going progressively tougher as the novices
began to string together several promising moves after the resumption.

While
Naga appeared to have fallen back on the defence of that narrow lead,
the Police were piling on relentless pressure. The breakthrough came
for the Division A1 winners, when Long Nasy threaded
his way through to polish off a splendid solo effort in style.

The
ball continued to roll in favour of the Police, even as Naga forwards
took a couple of pot shots. But the goal that mattered came off the
boot of an alert and circumspect Soy Piseth, who tapped the ball in
after some anxious exchanges insides the six-yard box.

Naga Corp’s Kop Isa (left) vies with Sob Ravy of National Police Commissary. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
There were jubilant scenes in the Police camp, but the message coming
out of it was more a warning shot to the rest that a team to reckon
with has arrived.
Kirivong strike late to win 3-0 Kirivong Sok
Sen Chey narrowly missed the Super 4 playoffs cut last year, but the
fifth place finishers were bang on target in their league opener
against Prek Pra Keila
yesterday.
The Takeo based outfit struck three unanswered goals late in the second period after the first half had remained goalless.
It
was striker Nelson Oladiji’s imposing presence that was the root of the
problem for the Prek Pra defence. The lofty Nigerian was unlucky to
slam the upright and scrape the paint off the cross bar in the first
half, but midway through the second session he produced a telling
header to put Kirivong ahead.
Then came a strike of precision
by Meak Chhordaravuth, with Oladiji back to round off the tally in
injury time. There were two narrow squeaks for Kirivong when Prek Pra
attackers You Arafat and Sos Souhana attempted shots from the top of
the box, but both were sprayed wide.

Cambodia draw Laos in World Cup qualifier

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment
Cambodia have been drawn against neighbouring rivals Laos in the first
round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. The
first and second round matchups were decided at the AFC House in Kuala
Lumpur yesterday.
Cambodia face Laos in their 2014 World Cup qualifier. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Cambodia played out a goalless stalemate
with Laos in their most recent meeting in Vientiane during the 2011 AFF
Suzuki Cup qualifiers last October. The winner of the home and away
legs will face China in the second round.        

First round draw

  • Malaysia v Taiwan
  • Bangladesh v Pakistan
  • Cambodia v Laos
  • Sri Lanka v Philippines
  • Afghanistan v Palestine
  • Vietnam v Macau
  • Nepal v East Timor
  • Mongolia v Myanmar    

First legs to be played on June 29. Second legs to be played on July 3.    

Second round draw

  • Thailand v Afghanistan or Palestine
  • Lebanon v Bangladesh or Pakistan
  • China v Cambodia or Laos
  • Turkmenistan v Indonesia
  • Kuwait v Sri Lanka or Philippines
  • Oman v Mongolia or Myanmar
  • Saudi Arabia v Hong Kong
  • Iran v Maldives
  • Syria v Tajikistan
  • Qatar v Vietnam or Macau
  • Iraq v Yemen
  • Singapore v Malaysia or Taiwan
  • Uzbekistan v Kyrgyzstan
  • United Arab Emirates v IndiaJordan v Nepal or East Timor

First legs to be played on July 23. Second legs to be played on July 28.

Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia to play in U-16

March 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Kuala Lumpur: AFC has approved Cambodia’s request to participate in the
2012 AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers. The draw for the qualifiers will
be held at the AFC House on March 30.

With the inclusion of Cambodia, total 40 teams have entered
the fray for this edition of the tournament and have been divided into
two zones – West (22) and East (18).

The teams will be divided
into seven groups of six and five teams each. West Zone will have two
groups of six and two of five teams while East will have three groups
of six teams each.

Top two teams from each of the groups and third best team from West and East zones will qualify for the tournament proper.

TEAMS AND ZONES

West by ranking
1.
Uzbekistan, 2. UAE, 3. Syria, 4. Iraq, 5. Iran, 6. Kuwait, 7.
Tajikistan, 8. Oman, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Bahrain, 11. Yemen, 12.
Bangladesh, 13. Qatar, 14. Nepal, 15. Kyrgyzstan, 16. Pakistan, 17.
India, 18. Afghanistan, 19. Lebanon, 20. Palestine, 21. Maldives, 22.
Sri Lanka.

East by ranking
1.  DPR Korea, 2.
Australia, 3. Japan, 4. Indonesia, 5. Vietnam, 6. China, 7. Timor
Leste, 8. Chinese Taipei, 9. Thailand, 10. Laos, 11. Hong Kong, 12.
Singapore, 13. Korea Republic, 14. Myanmar, 15. Malaysia, 16. Guam, 17.
Cambodia, 18. Macau.

Host side too hot for Cambodia

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment
Male, The Maldives
The
Maldives showed why experience can count double, or rather quadruple,
with a 4-0 rout of visitors Cambodia on Monday night in their opening
group match of the AFC Challenge Cup. The hosts fielded the veteran
trio of striker Ibrahim Fazeel, defender Abdul Ghani Assad and
goalkeeper Imran Mohamed, all of which had played against the Kingdom a
decade ago.
Photo by: Ung Chamroeun

Maldivian players (red shirts) celebrate at the end of the their AFC
Challenge Cup group match against Cambodia on Monday at the Rasmee
Dhadu Stadium in Male.
The Maldives eased into the comfort zone within
barely a minute of Chinese referee Zhao Liang blowing his whistle at
the Rasmee Dhadu Stadium. Mukhthaar Naseer, who scored the winning goal
against India in the 2008 SAFF Championship, sent the home fans in
early delirium as his rocket from the right-hand byline blasted through
Cambodian keeper Ouk Mich’s hands and into the far side netting.

Naseer,
Fazeel and skipper Ashfaq Ali then piled the pressure on tourists,
carving out numerous gilt-edged chances. In the 41st minute, Naseer
drew across two defenders and hit a square pass to his skunk-haired
skipper, who duly knocked it into an unguarded right corner to double
their lead heading into the break.

Cambodia’s best chance of
the first half fell to 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup Golden Boot winner
Khoun Laboravy. Prak Mony Udom set up the prolific striker, but
Laboravy’s fumbled attempt proved no problem for Maldivian stopper
Mohamed.
Sam El Nasa, the only current Cambodian player to have
faced the Maldives three times, was replaced by Sok Pheng in the last
minute of the first period.

For the first 15 minutes after the
restart, Cambodia enjoyed the majority of possession. Chhun Sothearath
was presented with space to break into the penalty area, but Maldivian
defender Akram Abdull Gani came across well to thwart the attack.

Cambodian defenders Lay Rasmey, Tieng Tiny, Say Piseth and Touch Panhcharong were finding it difficult to subdue the
rampaging Ashfaq, whose speed and movement has earned him hero status in his homeland.

Experienced
Chan Rithy came on for the final quarter-of-an-hour, but his presence
alongside Kouch Sokumpheak had little impact for the travellers. Sun
Sopanha’s corner kicks were consistently cleared by the Maldivian
defence.

With six minutes of regulation left on the clock, a
poor throw out by Ouk Mich was snapped up by Qasim Shamweel who played
through Ashfaq to notch his second of the night. Four minutes later,
and captain fantastic claimed his hat-trick with another well worked
move to put the game to bed.

In the post-match press conference,
Cambodian coach Lee Tae Hoon admitted to being outclassed by the home
side. “They are too good. With their home crowd, they made it very
difficult for our players,” he said.

“It’s great for us to play
against the good team – it’s a good experience for the players. [There
is] nothing to blame on my boys, they worked very hard.”

The
Maldives coach Diego Cruciani was clearly delighted with the result.
“All the credit goes to the players because I had just three practice
sessions with them,” he said.

Cambodia now face inaugural AFC
Challenge Cup champions Tajikistan tonight at 11pm Cambodian time, in
their first ever competitive meeting. Tajikistan beat Kyrgyzstan 1-0 in
Monday’s early match thanks to an 88th minute’s own goal by Kyrgyzstan
captain Sydykov Ruslan.

Hosts the Maldives, which currently lead group C, will play Kyrgyzstan in today’s first match at 6pm Cambodian time.

The
Cambodian squad voiced their dissatisfaction with the late night
scheduling of their fixtures, with all three of their group games
kicking off at 9pm in Male. “We have never played at 9pm, so it was
difficult for us,” said one player.

Phnom Penh Post

El Nasa rockets Cambodia into next stage of AFC Cup

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment
SamEl Nasa’s dramatic extra-time winner in Macau on Wednesday night
secured Cambodia a place in Group C of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup
qualifiers, ending with a 5-4 aggregate score over the former
Portuguese colony.
Sam El Nasa scored the 107th-minute winner to lift Cambodia past Macau. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Things had looked promising for the Kingdom
as they extended their 3-1 lead from the first leg with a strike by
Khim Borey in injury time of the first half.

Borey, who signed
with Thai Premier League club Sisaket FC last month, was then replaced
by veteran Preah Khan Reach forward Sam El Nasa on the hour mark.

Moments
later, the hosts began a 13-minute spell that saw them claw right back
into the tie. Midfielder Wong Vernon started the fightback before
substitute Leong Ka Hang pegged another back in the 73rd minute.

And
just two minutes more saw things leveled with Vinicio de Jesus Morais
Alves also coming off the Macau bench to score, sending the home fans
wild and the visitors into shellshock.

However, Cambodia
remained resolute to the end and the experience of Sam El Nasa shone
through as he helped avoid an imminent penalty shootout by netting in
the 107th minute to send them through.

Cambodia, ranked 166th
in FIFA World rankings, will now face Group C hosts the Maldives
(160th), as well as 2006 inaugural champions Tajikistan (141st) and
Kyrgyzstan (175th) in games played from March 20-31. The top two teams
from the round robin tournament will qualify for the finals to be
played next year.

Phnom Penh Post

Naga, Kirivong go forward

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey’s In Vichheka runs away from a tackle from a
Takeo player during their last 16 match of the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup
yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Kirivong won the Takeo derby 4-1. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
THE final two slots for the 2011 Samdech Hun Sen Cup quarterfinals were
filled yesterday at Olympic Stadium. Metfone C-League heavyweight Naga
Corp brushed aside provincial minnows Koh Kong 4-0 thanks to a 16
minute first-half blitz.

The visitors had their work cut out
from early on, losing their keeper Soup Phy to a persistant leg strain
after just ten minutes. His replacement, Chhin Leang Srun, struggled
with the standard and made several panicked clearances during the
contest.

On 23 minutes, Naga opened the scoring with experienced
striker Teab Vathanak heading home from a Meas Channa corner. Three
minutes later, and the roles were reversed as a Vathanak cross set up
Channa to double their lead.

Vathanak then curled a sublime free
kick over the wall and beyond the reach of the Koh Kong stopper from 25
metres out, and moments later Chin Chum got in on the fun with his own
goal to set an intimidating scoreline going into the break.

After the restart, Naga seemed far less imposing with Vathanak and Chum squandering half chances.

Naga
coach Prak Sovannara was delighted to see his side maintain their run
of clean sheets in the competition, and wished for another in the next
round.

Kirivong win battle of Takeo
In
yesterday late kickoff, provincial rivals Kirivong Sok Sen Chey and
Takeo played out an engaging match. Unsurprisingly, top tier outfit
Kirivong emerged 4-1 victors over their hometown rivals, although Takeo
had given a strong showing and had kept things at a stalemate up until
halftime.

Indeed, they could’ve been ahead with the best chance
coming from a Hy Sok Veng freekick from the left, which cannoned off
the crossbar only for Kirivong keeper Kem Makara to scoop it up off the
line.

Makara then had his heart in his mouth as he miskicked a passback but saw the ball dribble just wide of the post.

After
the interval, Kirivong started to take control with Seng Kom Sen
netting a neat freekick on 58 minutes, and Meak Chhordaravuth extending
their advantage minutes later.

Hy Sok Veng, who played with
Build Bright United last year, pegged one back for Takeo, before
teammate Yem Bros missed an opportunity to draw the sides level.

In
the 80th minutes, Kirivong hotshot grabbed the goal he was looking for
all match to equal Khounla Boravy of Preah Khan Reach on 16 goals from
the Cup campaign.

Boravy, who had turned up especially to
watch the game in the hope that Vichheka would fail to find the net,
expressed his displeasure from the stands at the thought of having to
share the one million riels (US$248) cash prize for the Golden Boot
with his national team roommate.

In the last minute of regulation time, Chhordaravuth sealed the victory with a strike to send Takeo packing.

Phnom Penh Post
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