Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Action returns to Kidzcool turf

Action returns to Kidzcool turf

Action returns to Kidzcool turf

Photo by: Nestle Poell
Phnom Penh Post’s Stephen Finch (blue shirt, centre) controls the ball during their mini-soccer match against Total at the Kidzcool astroturf pitch Tuesday.

THE Phnom Penh Post Mini Soccer tournament bounced back from the Khmer New Year break to set up another full evening of top notch action Tuesday on the Astroturf pitch at Kidzcool Children & Family Fun Village. With the unrefined determination of the teams starting to instigate some ugly confrontations, new rules had been administered to outlaw all hard tackles, which result in automatic yellow cards and expulsion for the remainder of the game. The team are allowed to bring on a replacement, unless the guilty party is red carded, in which case the side will be reduced to just three men.

The first game saw hosts Kidzcool take on the impressive Ezecom, with the referee laying down the law before the start of play. His words seemed to intimidate the sides into a very cagey opening minutes, with Kidzcool owner Eric Delacollette taking command of the game early on from his sweeping role as the pink-shirted hosts looked to walk it into the net.

A truly bizarre decision to disallow a perfectly good deflected goal by Kidzcool had all but the Ezecom players shaking their heads in disbelief. To their credit, Kidzcool kept up the pressure and were rewarded with some well worked goals.

Ezecom seemed content to attack on the counter, and eventually forced chinks in the Kidzcool armour to score goals and pull themselves back into contention. The match was starting to open up as players’ fear of a booking started to dissipate.

The second half saw the tempo drop and the tension heighten as Ezecom began to edge ahead by taking full advantage of some defensive delusions by Kidzcool. Unlike Bonnie Tyler, Kidzcool simply didn’t have time to hold out for a hero, so cue stand-in goalkeeper Conor Wall to swoop in and save the day.

With a freshly donned bright yellow shirt which appeared to inspire a superhero performance, Wall flashed down the wing with the speed of a flying bullet to net a sublime hat trick. It was enough to ensure an outstanding 9-9 draw and set the tone for a fantastic night of football.

Next up were the turbo charged Total team against the persistent Phnom Penh Post. Chasing only their second win of the campaign, the Post side started brightly by taking a two goal lead through the powerful Philip Ajuzie, which included a rare headed score.

Total looked slightly intimidated by the journalists’ intent, but as the half dragged on the momentum began to shift and some weak defending from the Post granted Total right back in it to enter the interval all square.

The blue shirted hacks were expectant of great things in the second period, but the petroleum product vendors had different ideas. Fittingly, their total football approach which saw the goalkeeper make countless ventures into the opposing half proved simply too devastating for the rapidly tiring Post team. Total ran out comfortable 11-5 winners, while the media maestros were left kicking themselves that their first half form had escaped them.

Smart versus Infinity was an entertaining affair with both teams slotting home numerous chances from some neat moves in the first half to keep things close. Smart made good with their superior passing and movement in the second half and, despite some valiant efforts from the insurance brokers, the mobile phone men recorded a dominant 18-6 victory.

Infinity had barely time to catch their breath as they were immediately pitted against Total. Infinity had clearly come on leaps and bounds over the weeks of the competition, and their tighter passing and teamwork granted them space to score. Total, meanwhile, were displaying a clinical touch and clever knocks to each other although it was Infinity who took a 5-3 lead into the break. Undeterred, Total took the macth by its horns in the second period, scoring three quick fire strikes to seize the advantage. A well worked free kick by Infinity brought things back level before a few comical misses from close range ensured things remained exciting.

Infinity’s Man Mala managed to hammer it off the crossbar when presented with a relatively empty net, but teammate Hor Vanda nutmegged the keeper from an acute angle to lift his side back in front. The crowd sensed an upset on the cards, and the action flipped from end to end to set up a rousing finale.

However, a lapse in concentration by Infinity at the death let Total calmly covert some choice opportunites to emerge from the dust cloud 11-9 victors.

The penultimate tie saw Devenco start fresh off the blocks against Ezecom to fire in a brace of stunning strikes in the blink of an eye. Ezecom pushed back and utilised their honed short game to string together some pinpoint passes and peg back the deficit. Missed penalties by both sides maintained the suspense and the frenetic pace was unrelenting up until the break.

The second half featured all the passion of the first, but Ezecom’s earlier exertion was starting to tell as Devenco began to carve through the defence. Ezecom were powerless to withstand the onslaught, and Devenco clinched it 9-5 to go top of the league table.

Finally, and with midnight fast approaching, Smart and Phnom Penh Post took to the field once more. The Post again dominated early and bagged a nifty triple to surge ahead. Smart soon recovered, however, and set about eating away at the lead until the scores were equal at the interval. An even niftier triple from Smart swung the tie firmly in their favour, and with the Post struggling to discover any unused energy left from their long evening out, Smart completed a comprehensive 10-4 victory to lift them up to second in the standings.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea