Thierry Chantha Bin made a winning return to Cambodia, putting in a solid performance at the National Olympic Stadium to help his new club Terengganu FC to a 1-0 friendly win over Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on Saturday.
Kipre Tchetche hit the game’s only goal in the 31st minute after a Terengganu free kick was parried away by the PKR keeper.
Kipre seized on the loose ball in the box and had little to do but hit home from 10 yards out.
Thierry, formerly of Phnom Penh Crown, Krabi and Electricite du Cambodge, is among three Cambodian players seeking their football fortunes in the Malaysian Premier League.
PKR captain Prak Mony Udom, rumoured to be seeking a move to Malaysia or Thailand, was largely anonymous as he struggled to evade the visiting fullback. His performance will not help to raise his stock among suitors as he looks for a lucrative transfer away.
Another Cambodian export, Chan Vathanaka, the kingdom’s fleet-footed winger, was handed a first start for Malaysia’s Pahang FA in the first match of their Thai pre-season tour. While unable to get on the scoresheet in Friday’s 3-1 win over the Muangthong United “B-team”, Vathanaka did play a full 60 minutes and duly provided an assist, floating in a pinpoint corner kick for Mohamadou Sumareh to bury Pahang’s second goal.
Meanwhile, at the RSN Stadium on Saturday, Phnom Penh Crown FC were humbled 3-0 by Malaysian club Persatuan Bolasepak Negeri Sembilan.
Crown, now a shadow of their six-league title winning selves, have in recent weeks shed their entire foreign contingent.
Anthony Aymard, Gi sung Yeon, Yuta Suzuki and highly highly-rated Shane Booysen have all parted company with the club as has Cambodian fan favourite Keo Sokpheng, Chhom Pisa, Run Rany and Keo Soksela.
It is also rumoured that central defensive mainstay Kok Boris would also be among the departures as coach Sean Sainsbury attempts to resurrect Crown after two dismal trophy-less seasons.
Sainsbury’s post-match remarks were curious considering the heavy defeat.
“I thought it was a very good performance and I’m happy with how the team played and the individuals played,” he said.
“I thought football-wise we were the better players and we had much more domination of the game. But everyone is disappointed that we lost,” he added.
A Crown fan summed up the current mood at the club in a succinct Facebook post after the defeat: “If u think life is hard, pls think about life of being PPCFC [Phnom Penh Crown] fan.”