Sisophon strike at Tiger Street Football festival in Poipet

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Sisophon took home the $1,500 prize after defeating Bun Koy in the final. KT/Yeun Punlue

The 2019 Tiger Street Football Festival hit the border town of Poipet at the weekend reaching the fifth stop in its unique and spectacular football roadshow.

Teams spanning Poipet, Pailin, and Banteay Meanchey tussled for berths in the March grand final in Phnom Penh – and a chance to play in front of Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho.

The weekend got underway on Saturday with an 68 teams fighting it out in the hope of securing one of just six qualification spots for the grand final.

68 teams registered for the Poipet leg of the competition.KT/Yeun Punlue

Yesterday’s final saw Sisophon FC (A) cap an astonishing weekend of action as they secured a 3-2 victory over Bun Koy FC. A double from Sisophon in the first half gave the side a commanding lead at the half-time break and they added a third early in the second to go three goals up. Overwhelmed, Bun Koy staged a brave fightback hitting two goals for a nail-biting end to the final.

The win saw Sisophon FC (A) take home the $1,500 provincial prize while brave runners-up Bun Koy received $1,000. Four other teams also made the cut for the Phnom Penh finals.

The festival also boasted cheer dancing, games booths, supporter booth-face painting and props/banners to support the teams, and special promotions of Tiger Beer.

After football action concluded in the cage, the festival continued hosting the Tiger concert featuring performances from Reth Suzana, Doung Vireakseth, Chhorn Sovannareach, Tep Boprek, Aok Sokunkanha, Pich Sophea, DJ Maily, and many more. In addition, hip hop dancers and endless music entertainment will entertain into the night.

Organisers announced they are set to bring Brazilian star Ronaldinho to Phnom Penh for the grand final. He is widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation.

His mesmerising tricks, overhead kicks, ‘blind’ passing and dribbling led him to glory with both country and club. He proved decisive in Brazil’s victory in the 2002 FIFA World Cup as well as in FC Barcelona’s triumph in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final.

In 2017, Barca appointed him as Global Club Ambassador. He is also part of the Legends project, a team of former players who take part in skill clinics, training sessions, among other activities.

Unlike traditional football, futsal and other street football formats, Tiger Street Football features a unique, customised oval caged pitch. The cutting-edge platform features a high energy continuous state of play, guaranteed to thrill the crowd throughout the two fast-paced six-minute halves in each match.

It also serves as a platform for talented players, aspiring footballers and anyone with a passion for the game to showcase their talent, and learn from good players.

The qualifying tournaments of the 7th edition of the football festival covers nine cities including, Sihanoukville, Takeo Kompong Speu, Battambang, Siem Reap, Poipet, Kompong Cham, Kandal, and Phnom Penh.

64 teams will be joining the final tournament with only the very best teams competing for supremacy at the grand finals in Phnom Penh in front of Koh Pich Theater on 16-17 March.

The festival next travels to Siem Reap, where teams from Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, and Kampong Thom provinces are eligible to register.

The three-day Siem Reap festival spans February 8, 9, and 10.

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