Nearly three years of frustratiion came to an end for Salaa Hope when the side lifted the U14 trophy in the SALT Academy’s Boys Football tournament at the Battambang Airport Field on Sunday.
The local side had never had such a good run as the one they enjoyed this year. Taking advantage of that momentum, they came back from a goal down at half-time to post a 4-2 victory over FEDA in the final.
Changing ends at 2-1, Salaa Hope hammered home two stunning strikes in the first five minutes and put the result beyond FEDA with a last-minute goal.
Pastoral Club defeated Catholics 1-0 to take third spot.
“During this season, I really enjoyed participating in SALT’s football activity every weekend,” Salaa Hope team member Em Socheat said.
“Playing football has helped me to be healthy. I have many friends, and I can work well with my team-mates. Besides playing football, SALT has provided us with life-skill lessons which are really helpful for us.”
Meanwhile, the U17 finals produced a finish fit for the theatre. Last year’s league runners-up Chrey fought a ding-dong battle with Jerusalem for the seasonal honours before landing the prize via a thrilling penalty shootout.
The teams failed to score during the regulation time and 10 minutes of extra time.
The tipping point in the penalties came when Chrey’s goalkeeper pulled off a superb save, paving the way for his side’s 3-2 victory.
Sorang edged out SOS 4-3 in the playoff for third place.
Eden Church had a tough time in the U11 semifinals against Pastoral Club, but when it came to the title fight they were a totally different side.
Playing CFI in the final, Eden came away with a 5-0 victory to claim the spoils.
“Football helps me a lot. I never had such a fun time like this before I joined the football team,” Eden captain Tha Bros Touk said.
“I have a lot of new friends, and I felt I was a superstar like [Cristiano] Ronaldo when I scored each goal.”
It went to penalties in the contest for third, where Pastoral club went past luckless Jerusalem 2-1.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at firstname.lastname@example.org