A player for SSCA (L) attempts to take the ball from a PSE team member during the U13s final of the Human Rights Youth Football Tournament at 3G Field, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. SSCA went on to win the game after a penalty shootout. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
The second Human Rights Youth Football Tournament, hosted by CIA First International School and co-organised by Rising Stars International Sports Academy, attracted 23 boys’ teams from 11 local schools and charity organisations to the 3G Field yesterday.
The U17 competition was dominated by Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE), who streaked through to the final without the loss of a single match.
After defeating hosts CIA’s first team in the semi-final 3-2, PSE came up against a State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) sponsored youth side in the championship decider.
The very talented and technically proficient PSE opened the scoring through a well worked combination of passes rounded off by their top scorer Chheav Chhean.
The lead was secured for the majority of the 15-minute game, but in the very last minute, SSCA’s Pich Socheat picked out the top corner of the goal for a spectacular equaliser.
The tie went straight to penalty kicks, which PSE won 4-3 to clinch the title. Third place was claimed by F Love, with a 2-0 win over CIA’s first team.
The final of the U13 event also had the drama of spot kicks between PSE and SSCA sides.
Both teams failed to score during normal time, despite SSCA’s Sou Sophea, displaying fine technical ability and awareness of open space for such a young player, coming close a few times.
In the shootout, both goalkeepers proved to possess great reflexes and, after seven kicks each and at a score of only 2-2, SSCA stopper Chamroeun Kongkea added the game-winning goal for a 3-2 victory to turn the tables on their rivals.
NHCC were crowned champions of the U10 class, thrashing East-West International School 4-0 in a fairly one-sided final.
All teams were given participation certificates, while the top three finishers of each category also collecting trophies.
The winners of the classes also received giftbags from main sponsors Smart Mobile and Peace Book Center.
“On behalf of the Rising Star International Sports Academy, it has been a great football exhibition today,” Ken Gaddafi, director of Rising Stars and coach of the CIA team, told the Post yesterday.
“I am delighted about the high quality of the football today and firmly believe that grassroots tournaments like this can create a brighter future for Cambodian football.
“We hope that in future events the Football Federation [of Cambodia] will take more interest.”
Andre Struve, director of CIA International First School, said: “We want to bring different kinds of kids together. It is great to see more privileged children from private schools coming together with less fortunate football players and everybody has a great time.
“We have seen some amazing football today from all the teams. I want to congratulate every one of them.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Derbuc at [email protected]