Norway Edges Cambodia at Glasgow Cup

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Cambodia are represented at the Homeless World Cup now underway in Glasgow, Scotland. Supplied

The Cambodian contingent at the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow, Scotland suffered galling defeats at the hands of defending champions Mexico, Asean rivals Indonesia and, in their most recent outing, Norway.
 
Cambodian hopes were boosted early in the tournament after being awarded 1-0 default wins after Argentina and Burkina Faso failed to travel to Scotland.
 
With first stage formalities completed, Cambodia was drawn into group H in the second stage of competition alongside Greece, Austria, Slovenia, Finland and Norway.
 
Cambodia was defeated in their early tie against Norway 7-5 despite going two goals up early on through Narat Roeng.
 
However, the Norwegians fought back to tie the game 2-2 at halftime before Robin Bjoroy put Norway ahead for the first time in the game. A blistering second period saw the ball hit the back of the net a further seven times.
 
Cambodia will turn out again today for meetings with Slovenia and Greece.
 
In the first stage of competition, Cambodia faced a tough challenge against defending champs Mexico on Tuesday.
 
Despite a brave performance, Cambodia found themselves down six goals by halftime before restricting the Central Americans to two more strikes in the second.
 
The goal-fest continued in the afternoon tie against Asean rivals Indonesia. Cambodia once again found themselves six goals down at the halftime break, although their second half goals ensured Cambodia didn’t go down without a fight. The final score was 10-3 to the Indonesians.
 
“Mexico and Indonesia have superb teams and are amongst the favorites to win it. The players gave 100 percent and we are proud of the efforts,” said Paraic Grogan, founder and director of Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA), a national partner for the tournament in the Kingdom.
 
A painful 6-5 loss to India in the early afternoon clash on Monday saw the Cambodians lead 5-4 with 20 seconds left on the clock – before India hit a quickfire double to break Cambodian hearts.
 
“We were very unhappy to lose in the way we did to India,” said Mr. Grogan. “Leading 5-4 with twenty seconds to go, we let our concentration drop off and suffered a very disappointing loss.”
 
Cambodia first debuted at the 2008 competition, hosted in Melbourne, Australia. They have attracted the backing of telco partner Smart Axiata since 2011, who have been a constant and vital presence since.
 
The seven-day event, which describes itself as a unique, pioneering social movement using football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives, sees 64 teams from 52 countries converge on George Square in Glasgow, where an outdoor street football venue with three pitches and seating have been erected.
 
In last year’s competition in the Netherlands, Cambodia ranked 36th out of 48 competing teams, with Mexico winning the grand prize after defeating Ukraine in the final.

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