Tottenham’s Andi Him Sprung (left) vies with his brother Ravi of Man United as they contest the final of the senior cup during the Phnom Penh Soccer League playoff day at Northbridge School. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
The 8th edition of the Phnom Penh Soccer League wrapped up on Saturday at Northbridge School, with Tottenham claiming the seniors title and Sampdoria winning the junior division.
Tottenham had wallowed in mediocrity during the league campaign, which ran from October 2 last year to May 21 and featured 160 young players from across the capital. However, in the playoffs on Saturday morning the team showed a dramatic improvement progressing to the finals where they held their nerve against Man United in a penalty shootout to win 4-1.
In the third place playoff, Arsenal capped off a disappointing day for regular season winners Liverpool by routing them 4-0. Chelsea beat Man City 3-0 to grab fifth.
Micah Jones of Man United won the Golden Boot award with an impressive 36 goals during the season.
Meanwhile, the junior trophy was lifted by the Sampdoria team after they downed league toppers Juventus 2-0 in the final. Juventus’ James Jago was the hottest young striker with 17 scores in total.
RMA Cambodia and Ford are the major sponsors of the league, which is one of only a handful of well organised football programmes for children in the Kingdom.
The kids of various ages, some from disadvantaged backgrounds, received professional coaching, learned new skills and enjoyed playing in the refereed league and cup competitions.
Rami Sharaf, CEO of RMA Cambodia and Ford, said: “Children are the back bone of the society and the real investment of development in the future. All opportunities we give them can improve their capacity and talent in soccer, and we help them to be professional soccer players in the future.”
Sharaf added that the league supported and motivated the children to play sports “to get their energy in something positive.” TRANSLATIONS BY PANN RETHEA