Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Phnom Penh Post (blue) attack against Devenco (orange) during their four-a-side match on the astroturf pitch at Kidzcool Tuesday.
THE inaugural Phnom Penh Post Mini Soccer Championship saw its first round of fixtures play out Tuesday night under the floodlights of the astroturf pitch at Kidzcool Children and Family Fun Village on Chhroy Changvar peninsula, Phnom Penh. Five of the 10 teams were in action, playing two games each over the course of Tuesday evening.
The first match saw hosts Kidzcool take on a well organised Devenco side. The pace was blistering from the start as the sides battled hard to vie for their first points of the campaign. Both goals came under constant fire throughout the two 15-minute halves, and at the final whistle Devenco emerged the sweaty but satisfied 10-7 victors.
Next up was Expat Advisory Services versus Infinity Insurance. Expat have been tipped by tournament organiser Eric Delacollette as one of the grand finalists, and they confirmed his appraisal with a 15-1 rout of Infinity.
Scoring from all distances and angles, Expat made light work of their overwhelmed opposition, who nevertheless contested to the end and grabbed a late consolation, much to the delight of the attentive crowd.
The third tie of the evening had Devenco return to the field to play Phnom Penh Post. Devenco’s superior fitness and teamwork proved decisive in a largely one-sided affair as the Post were unable to reproduce on field the precision achieved on a daily basis in the office. A solitary strike from James O’Toole was all that the Post had in response to the 14 smashed in from Devenco, who maintained their perfect start to the competition.
The pink-shirted Kidzcool then faced the whites of Infinity in a showcase of individual skill by the hosts. Infinity were condemned to another heavy defeat, this time 17-3, although what they lacked in merit they made up for in boundless enthusiasm with all three of their goals accompanied by raucous applause from teammates and supporters.
The last game promised to be a whitewash for the Post against the impressive Expat outfit, but the journalists found some rare form and shape to make it hard for their opponents. Despite dominating possession, Expat were granted limited opportunities to pull the trigger, while the Post were finally finding a finishing touch. Expat eventually edged it 7-5, although the Post’s post and an inspirational performance from keeper Colin Meyn kept things much closer than anticipated.
Tonight’s second round of matches sees the remaining sides – Total, Smart Phone, Indochina Research, Ezecom and KPMG – kick off games from 7pm at Kidzcool.