After successful runs in Kampong Speu and Siem Reap, the provincial finals of Tiger Street Football 2020 rolled through Poipet yesterday, to the delight of thousands of football fans in the city. Poipet is an important trade hub located on the Thailand border.
The Poipet leg of Tiger Street Football 2020 drew 82 teams, a number that far exceeded initial expectations. In addition to Poipet, there were also teams from Pailin and other parts of Banteay Meanchey Province that entered the competition.
In the finals held on Jan 26, Family Sisophon (A) kicked its way to first place after beating Bun Koy FC, 1-0. Third place went Bun Koy Youth, which waylaid Poipet United, 2-1.
Family Sisophon (A) has won the Poipet leg of Tiger Street Football for the third straight year.
Family Sisophon (A) took home $1,500 cash prize, Bun Koy FC received $1,000, Bun Koy Youth won $500, while Poipet United collected $200.
The other two grand finals qualifiers from Poipet are Diamondstar A and Poipet Empire FC.
In addition to winning cash and other prizes, the successful teams also qualified for the grand finals of the tournament, which will be held at Koh Pich (Diamond Island) in Phnom Penh from Feb 29–March 1.
Echoing its previous two runs in Kampong Speu and Siem Reap, the matches in Poipet were full of action, to the delight of hundreds of spectators. There was no shortage of fun and excitement as the opposing teams did their best to outdo each other on the pitch.
The thrilling, fast-paced matches of Tiger Street Football have a reputation for electrifying the large crowds who gather in excited anticipation to watch the Kingdom’s largest football tournament. Matches take place on a customised oval-shaped pitch, with competing teams playing two six-minute halves.
In Kampong Speu, there were a total of 52 teams that vied for six qualifying slots. The six teams that qualified out of Kampong Speu were Avatar FC, TN Kandal, Rhino Kampong Speu (A), Black Lion (B), Angsnoul United and SGC (A).
In Siem Reap, 119 teams vied for the top prizes and the right to represent the city in the grand finals. There were 12 qualifying slots up for grabs and these went to Samrong United FC, Kiridongrek FC, The Brother FC, Fratello FC, Next Step FC, Steung Thmey Keila, Siem Reap FC, Reaksmey Siem Reap (B), Siem Reap FC (A), Thunder Youth FC, JAV FC and Siem Reap FC X.
There are still 40 qualifying slots up for grabs as Tiger Street Football 2020 prepares to move on to its next destination of Battambang.
The Battambang leg of the tournament, which will be held from Jan 31–Feb 2, is expected to draw 110 teams that will battle it out for 10 available slots within the grand finals.
Along with the cities/provinces already mentioned, the 8th edition of Tiger Street Football covers eight locations in total, including Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville, Takeo and Phnom Penh.
The 64 teams that will qualify for the finals will also have the chance to play in front of one of the most well-known names in football: Rio Ferdinand.
Ferdinand, who mostly plays in centre-back position, is regarded as one of England’s greatest-ever footballers and one of the best defenders of his generation. He was selected to play in four World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010) and enjoyed a captaincy of the 2010 England Team.
Big prizes are at stake in the grand finals. The overall winner of the Angkor Street Football tournament will receive a $15,000 cash prize, second place $5,000, third place $2,500 and the fourth placer will take home $1,000.
Tiger Street Football returned to Cambodia after successful runs in Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar.
This year’s edition is the biggest ever, with close to 750 teams expected to compete. Last year’s edition of Tiger Street Football drew 622 teams from across the Kingdom.
Tiger Street Football 2020 is not solely a football competition. There are also games, cheerleading displays, live concerts, special promotions and other fun activities which all help to further spice up the event.