Globalteer's under 14's girls soccer team put on an exemplary performance last weekend at a national soccer tournament in the Cambodian Capital, Phnom Penh. Our gritty girls were unbeaten in the group stages of the competition but finally bowed out, heads held high, in the cruellest of ways, losing in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter finals.
The squad of twelve travelled to Phnom Penh with Globalteer’s Sports Project Manager, Charlie Pomroy, our female soccer coach, Srey Mom and an adult chaperone from each of the three NGOs that made up the team. In Phnom Penh they lined up against 25 teams from seven Cambodian provinces making it a truly national celebration of girls’ soccer.
The best laid plans...
Despite meticulous planning the trip wasn’t all plain sailing. First the team bus that turned up to transport the squad from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh turned out to have no seatbelts so a quick replacement had to be found.
Then, once underway many on the team got travel sick during the six hour journey. Rejecting Western remedies, the girls insisted instead on picking fresh mangoes from a roadside tree, and turning off the air con on the bus while they ate the fresh fruit. While the Western staff slowly steamed, nature’s remedy seemed to do the trick for the girls and the team arrived in the capital fighting fit and rearing to go.
Undeterred and unbeaten...
Next day they put on a stunning display to finish unbeaten at the top of their qualifying group with three wins and two draws. Then in the quarter final the busiest player on the pitch was the opposition’s goalie as the Globalteer girls fired shot after shot at the goalmouth. At full time it was 0-0 but our girls were just pipped to a place in the semis in a hotly contested penalty shout-out.
Out but not down the girls, many of whom are much younger than most of their opponents are looking forward to returning next year and going all the way to the final. As Globalteer Sports Manager Charlie said,
“In our last tournament we were very much just another team, but this time the Globalteer Girls were the team that everyone feared. Next year we will have an even stronger chance of lifting the trophy!”