Angkor Tiger football club beat Visakha FC in a penalty shootout thriller to bag the third place in Siem Reap Super Asian Cup 2020. The third-place match was held at the SRU stadium in Siem Reap Province on Jan 25.
The teams were tied 1-1 after 93 minutes before the game was decided on penalties.
Early on, Visakha FC went into attack and its efforts were rewarded in the 3rd minute when defender Kim Chhaya’s attempt from long distance sailed past goalie Yi Bunheng and hit the back of the net. Visakha FC’s effort was characterised by slick and pinpoint passes.
Angkor Tiger FC was also aggressive from the start. Only the heroic efforts of custodian Chea Vansak prevented Angkor Tiger FC from scoring in the first minute of the match.
Desperate for an equaliser, Tiger Angkor FC did not let up on its attack. In the 34th minute, Vansak partially stopped a free kick from attacking midfielder Pov Phearith, only for the ball to bounce straight to forward Warlei Antonio of Brazil, who scored from up close to tie the score at 1-1.
Despite more than a few scoring opportunities, both teams were unable to score after that, sending the game into a penalty shootout.
Phearith took the first kick and successfully slotted the ball in past Vansak. Attacking midfielder Sin Kakada scored easily for Visakha FC to tie the score once more.
Forward Tang Sopheak’s penalty shot crossed the goal line for a 2-1 Angkor Tiger FC lead. Forward Mihaljevic Filip of Croatia tied it once more, before defender Takaki Ose of Japan scored for a 3-2 Angkor Tiger FC advantage.
Midfielder San Kimheng tied it once more, before midfielder Yudai Ogawa put Angkor Tiger FC ahead, 4-3. Ogawa easily scored past Vansak, who wrongly guessed the direction of the ball.
Bunheng correctly anticipated the ball on defender Ouk Sovann’s attempt but it sailed out of his reach and hit the back of the net, giving both teams four penalties each.
Nigerian forward Dzarma Bata’s attempt sailed past the goal line, giving Angkor Tiger FC a 5-4 lead. Then it was striker Keo Sokpheng’s turn for Visakha FC.
In a scene reminiscent of Cambodia’s debacle during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, with the game on the line, Sokpheng let his team down by failing to convert his penalty shot.
Sokpheng’s weak attempt was easily deflected by Bunheng, leading to a wild celebration among Angkor Tiger FC officials, players and fans.
During the bronze medal match against Myanmar in the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, it was a missed penalty from Sokpheng that led to Cambodia’s disappointing loss.
More than a thousand people came to the SRU stadium to watch the game.
The international friendly tournament was jointly organised by SRU FC and two Malaysian sports-related companies, BolaBros and Kaki Jersey. The tournament, which drew two teams from Cambodia and one each from Malaysia and Indonesia, was aimed at preparing the brand new SRU stadium for larger events in the future, but also to prepare participating teams for the upcoming season.
PJ City FC of Malaysia and Bhayangkara FC of Indonesia were still playing for the championship trophy at the time of going to press.