As the grand final of the 7th Annual Tiger Street Football Festival closes in, there were plenty for fans to shout about in Kampong Cham as it played host to the seventh part of Tiger’s captivating football roadshow.
76 teams from Kampong Cham, Kratie, Stung Treng, Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces tussled for just 7 berths in next month’s grand final in Phnom Penh – and a chance to play in front of Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho.
The Kampong Cham leg got underway on Saturday with teams fighting it out in the hope of securing qualification spots for the grand final.
In yesterday evening’s final provincial showdown, as four-time winners Inter KPC made it five provincial wins in a row to seal their place as winners with a 2-0 victory over Dey Lot An Veng Srun. Both goals came in a frenzied first half of action.
The first came via an unstoppable pinpoint finish into the top corner early in the half before a second was delivered into the back of the net seconds before the whistle for half-time.
A busy second period saw both sides go close and a heavy fall saw a player stretchered off. Despite sustained pressure from the opposition, and the fans, Inter KPC preserved their lead to claim the win.
The win saw Inter KPC rewarded with the $1,500 provincial prize while the runners-up received $1,000.
After the football action concluded, the Tiger concert featured performances from Aok Sokunkanha, Pich Sophea, Chhorn Sovannareach, Nob Bayarith, Nico, Tel Thai, Doung Viraksith, Tep Bopreuk, Mang Chankanha, Reth Suzana, DJ Maily, and more. 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.
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.
Organisers announced they are set to bring Brazilian star Ronaldinho to Phnom Penh for the grand final. 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 the Brazilian maestro 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.
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 top teams will be joining the final tournament with only the very best of the best teams competing for supremacy at the grand finals in Phnom Penh in front of Koh Pich Theater on 16th and 17th of March.
The festival next travels to Kandal for a March 3rd date. Teams from Kandal, Prey Veng, and Svay Rieng are eligible to enter.