The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) football team scored a 4-1 win over their counterparts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) to secure a semi-final seat in the Inter-Ministerial Youth Tournament 2020.
Striker Toy Sovirak registered a hat-trick to lead his team to victory. The win puts MFAIC closer to the finals. MFAIC will next face the Ministry of Health (MOH), with the finals seat on the line.
The MFAIC versus MOH semifinals match will be held on Feb 24.
Both teams failed to convert scoring opportunities in the early stages, before complacency and a defensive breakdown allowed MFAIC to open the scoring a few minutes before the first half ended.
Sovirak struck first in the 38th minute. After receiving a long cross, he manoeuvred a bit and launched from just inside the box to put MFAIC up, 1-0.
MAFF forward Kan Kompheak tied the score with a header in the 48th minute, before Sovirak came up big again just a few minutes into the second half.
Sovirak scored a brace in the 62nd minute to increase their lead to 2-0. Sovirak’s header from up close hit the back of the net to the dismay of the opposing team, which, earlier, missed several easy scoring chances.
A few minutes later, Sovirak came up with his third goal as MFAIC pulled ahead, 3-1. A goal by midfielder Prum Sothoeun in the 74th minute completed the scoring for MFAIC.
Team captain San Chanrithy said they are happy to be in the semifinals. The MFAIC team entered the semis after a come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation in the quarter-finals (Last Eight) last week.
“It was a tough and exciting game. Our opponents played so well and they have good players,” he said.
A big crowd was there to watch the match, which drew many fans from both sides.
Chanrithy said they are expecting a tough match against the MOH team, who are the reigning reigning titilists of the Inter-Ministerial Youth Tournament. “Yes, they are a good team,” he noted.
There are 36 teams representing various ministries and major Government agencies that are competing in the annual tournament, which is now on its seventh year. It is intended for fun, exercise and to develop camaraderie and friendships among staff of the different ministries and major government institutions.
The tournament started in December last year. Games are played during the evening of weekdays and weekends at the Premium Sport Club in Phnom Penh.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will battle for the other finals seat.