Another steamy session of four-a-side football showcased at Kidzcool Children & Family Fun Village Tuesday as teams continued their pursuit of a coveted place in the semifinals of the Phnom Penh Post Mini Soccer Championship. Hometurf hotshots Kidzcool and the effervescent Expat Advisory side were first up to face off against each other, with the black shirted visitors keen as mustard to overturn and earlier 8-5 defeat from the pink-clad hosts.
Both sides had a few big name absentees to contend with, although Expat appeared the hungrier and put on an impressive display of the kind of talent they had promised so much of throughout the competition. In the end, Expat were comfortable 11-2 winners with Kidzcool flustered into submission.
Next match saw the mighty whites of Infinity face the blue meanies of the Phnom Penh Post. Having grabbed their only points of the tournament so far with an 8-4 win over Infinity in their first tie, the Post team were less confident of a repeat success after witnessing the vastly improved lineup of Infinity at work last week. The journalists struggled to contend with the slick passing and movement of the insurance brokers, and the 15-0 final scoreline reflected fairly accurately the complete loss of form endured by the Post.
The third fixture was a blockbuster between highflying Devenco and Expat, guaranteed to be a fiercely fought affair after the thrilling 7-6 victory for the Blacks in the first leg. Expat numbers were withered to the bone, and some Herculean efforts were required by captain Richie Munro and teammates just to stay in contention. Devenco predictably controlled the game, and set up a first half advantage which they promised not to relinquish.
The Expat lads were not ones to lie down, and a second half charge brought things close as the excitement levels reached fever pitch. However, some late lapses allowed Devenco the cushion they needed to edge past Expat 5-3.
The frenetic pace of the third match failed to transfer to the fourth, as Kidzcool and PP Post walked through their tie in a wide open game that was presumably more fun for the players than the spectators. Some comical defending and finishing provided moments of amusement, however, as the blue tops finally started putting scores on the board. A weakened Kidzcool still had enough class to outwit the Post players, coming out 11-6 on top.
Last match of the night had Infinity and Devenco square off for a distinctly tighter encounter than the previous 13-4 rout. Both teams boasted some gifted locals at their disposal, but Devenco showed the greater determination to clinch a 9-5 victory, and push themselves into top spot in the league. Second placed Indochina have three games in hand, and can go clear on points if they win their two games tonight at Kidzcool.