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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gaels down Apsaras in regional first

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The Cambodian Apsaras take to the pitch ahead of their first Australian rules football match in Southeast Asia against the Saigon Gaels on Saturday. Photo supplied

Gaels down Apsaras in regional first

Newly formed women’s Australian rules football team the Cambodian Apsaras put up a sterling fight before going down 31-6 to visiting Gaelic football team the Saigon Gaels in their first ever game in Southeast Asia.

The match was played at the International School of Phnom Penh grounds on Saturday.

In the lead-up to this historic contest, the men’s Cambodian Eagles thrashed familiar foes Vietnam Swans 87-27 in their opening game of the season.

The Apsaras went into the match not knowing what to expect from the Gaels, who normally play Gaelic football.

Adding to the sense of the unknown, almost all of the Cambodian players were competing in their first ever game of footy and had only six weeks of training.

In the end, it was the more experienced Gaels who prevailed despite the home side fighting hard all the way. The Apsaras only goal came in the third quarter when Cambodian Sreylak Kuon used her pace to pounce onto a loose ball to kick home.

The Apsaras and Gaels can now look forward to a rematch in Vietnam’s Vung Tao on April 22 for ANZAC Day.

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