Cambodian Eagles recorded a thrilling three-point victory over Vietnam Swans in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday to help give Australian rules football a big boost in the region.
After leading by as many as six goals in the first half, the Eagles were swamped late in the match. They fell behind and looked beaten until Scotsman Duncan Smith pounced on a loose ball in the middle of the pitch to score the winner from 50 metres out.
After being routed by the Swans in the final of the Indochine Cup in Saigon last month, it was sweet revenge for the Eagles.
Earlier in the day, Cambodia Cobras demolished the Swans’ native Vietnamese contingent in the region’s first all-local international. The Swans failed to put a goal past a ruthless all-Cambodian side in a 12-goal drubbing
Starting at fullback for the first time, Stueng Meanchey local Kuoy Kun was named best on ground after nullifying a series of the Swans’ forward targets.
Kuoy Oun , who was named best Asian player at the recent Indochine Cup – topped the scoring with five goals and Nan Nassi again proved a class above, controlling the match with composure and a deft touch.
Sandwiched between the two big Eagles victories, the Cambodia Apsaras went down by five goals to the Vietnam Gaels in the third womens’ match since inception earlier this year.
With the Eagles up 1-0 in the 2017 edition of the traditional “Cannonball Run”, all three Vietnamese teams are preparing for return bouts when they travel to Phnom Penh for a triple header on September 23. The matches will be played at the International School of Phnom Penh.