Saturday, May 2, 2009

The big kick-off

Your reporter and Cambodia national team coach, Prak Sovannara
This afternoon, the Cambodia Premier league season kicked-off with two games at the Olympic Stadium. The season's opener turned out to be a surprise 4-2 win for Kirivong Sok Sen Chey against the more fancied Khemara Keila, whilst Build Bright were leading Post Tel, 1-nil, in the second game with 2 minutes to go as I left early to avoid the thunderstorm just around the corner. Khemara looked set to win comfortably against Kirivong after national team striker Kouch Sokumpheak put them into the lead after just four minutes. He then missed a penalty and that came back to haunt his side as Kirivong looked a different outfit after the interval and came back strongly in the latter stages to win, with In Vichheka inflicting most of the damage. The Build Bright game was far less interesting as I collared the national team coach Prak Sovannara for an in-depth chat about Cambodia's showing in the AFC Challenge Cup in Bangladesh earlier this week. As always Sovannara was a great interviewee, giving me his views on the AFC competition, the players in his squad, his hopes for the rest of this year and the heads-up that this season he will be acting as chief coach to CPL team Preah Khan Reach, who begin their campaign tomorrow. More revelations in my article for Monday's Phnom Penh Post. I watched the games with PPP journo's Dan and Robin, who cover most of the CPL matches, and also met Chamroeun for the first time, another football nut who writes for French newspaper Cambodge Soir Hebdo.
The team's enter a soul-less Olympic Stadium for the first match of the season
The surprise package of the opening game of the CPL, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, pose for the camera

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4 Comments:

Blogger CHAMROEUN said...

Great note, keep doing this for Cambodian Football,
many thanks Andy.

Chamroeun

May 2, 2009 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I couldn't get to the matches played on Sunday this weekend as I had other commitments. After Saturday's openers, there were two more games played Sunday, when CPL newcomers Spark gained a creditable 2-2 draw against Naga Corp, and then Preah Khan Reach (under new coach Prak Sovannara, the national team coach) beat the Navy team, Phuchung Neak, 3-nil.
The only teams not to play were National Defense Ministry and Phnom Penh Crown, the latter postponed the match as they play in the Singapore Cup on Tuesday.
Andy

May 4, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Next weekend is the 2nd week of the new Cambodia Premier League season and Saturday has 2 games that will give fans a good indication of how well their favorite teams will fare this season.
At 2pm on Saturday (9 May), Phnom Penh Crown will begin the defense of their league title against Naga Corp, who they beat in the Hun Sen Cup Final recently. I will be interested to see how Crown cope against Naga having been off to play in Singapore at the weekend just gone.
At 3.45pm on Saturday, the second game of the day will be between National Defense Ministry (who have suspended 5 players for alleged irregularities) and Preah Khan Reach, who won 3-0 at the weekend just gone, and who have national coach Prak Sovannara in charge of coaching duties this season. Another intriguing game.
All games in the CPL will be played at the Olympic Stadium this season. 9 out of the 10 teams are all based in PPenh, so I'm not really sure how teams develop their fan base, that's if they have a fan base at all. It's not like say in London with teams like Arsenal or Spurs, whose fans originally come from the locality of their home ground. The clubs in the CPL don't have their own home ground! Its something I must ask around about, to find out why a football fan in PPenh would favour one team over another. If you have your theory, please let me know.
Andy

May 4, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi.Andy.talking about home ground fan.I just say no,but all the fan they have their favorite club.if you find some fan and ask them they would tell you.For me my favorite club is Naga Corp,because i like to see their player like Sun Sovannarith,Teab Vathanak,Meas Channa[Number 7](also good) his playing style like C.Ronaldo.I usually call him Ronaldo.

thanks.
regards.

May 4, 2009 at 9:31 PM  

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