Tuesday night saw another thrilling round of fixtures from the Phnom Penh Post Mini Soccer Championship at Kidzcool Children and Family Fun Village. First up saw hosts Kidzcool clash with Expat Advisory Services in a hard-fought contest played at a top level. With little to separate the two in terms of teamwork and individual skill, Kidzcool played the tactics game to perfection by flooding their own half to frustrate the Expat strikers while making the most of their counterattacking breakaways. Kidzcool took the tie 8-5 in a result that gave Expat something to think about.
The next game pitted Infinity Insurance against Phnom Penh Post, with both sides searching for their first win. The Post looked sharpest from the off, knocking in three in quick succession to take a stranglehold on the fixture. The journalists never relinquished their lead, although their depleted bench proved demanding, allowing Infinity to net several past a sleeping defence. The Post held on to triumph 8-4 and put their first points on the board.
The third match was a blockbusting battle between heavyweights Devenco and Expat in easily the most entertaining 30 minutes of the night. Neither team held back as tempers began to flare with tackles increasing in frequency and intensity. Devenco’s agility and nifty footwork could’ve yielded more had it not been for some sublime stopping from Expat keeper Preeda C Wapana.
Both sides were desperately looking for an edge, and it was Expat’s Angus who seized the initiative with a thunderbolt from just inches over the halfway line minutes before half-time. The strike seemed to galvanise the team, as they added more from distance in the second period through Duncan Galloway and Richie Munro. The sensational skill of Devenco’s Hak Bora was limited by some fine defending from the opposition, and with the tension becoming unbearable Expat managed to maintain their advantage and record a 7-6 victory.
If the preceeding game had been a high-octane affair, the next tie between Kidzcool and Phnom Penh Post was in need of some lead replacement. Key players were missing on either side through injury and absence, and both were appreciative of a more laid-back and jovial contest. Kidzcool owner Eric Delacollete controlled proceedings from the back in much the same way as their first game, and the Post defence struggled to match the pace of their rivals. The final score of 6-2 to Kidzcool was probably fair on reflection, although the uprights had displayed some bizarre magnetic properties to repel numerous close-range efforts from the Post attackers.
Tuesday’s last fixture was the most one-sided, with Devenco running amok over Infinity. Devenco’s Hak Bora once again starred with a stunning six in the first half, only to limp off with cramp shortly after the break. Infinity showed fantastic team spirit to rally against their classy opposition, scoring four goals, including a screamer from Chuon Sokvichheka. The game was also notable for seeing penalties awarded to both sides; Devenco powerfully converted theirs, while Infinity scuffed their shot into the keeper’s hands. Devenco ran out eventual 13-4 winners to lift them top of the table by means of their vastly superior goal difference ahead of tonight’s matches.