What a brilliant game ! All week long I’d been bugging Davy Meng, my friend and regular tuk tuk driver, to ask his mates, all tuk tuk drivers themselves, if they fancied a game this week. Davy pulled a few strings and on Wednesday 23rd March 2016, at 5pm, 5 drivers turned up at our guesthouse to do battle on the nearby field at Sopheak. Piotr and Ola from Poland joined us too, as did the amazing Men Meng, a cool young dude who works at the guesthouse when not studying. We jumped aboard 2 tuk tuks and headed out into the steaming hot streets.
The sandy surface at Sopheak was perfect for the game considering the temperature pitch side. We started the game with a 3 v 3, with a flying sub to come on for either team if someone got tired. Not long into the game some young kids turned up and joined in and we had a 5 v 5. One of these kids was incredibly talented, skilful and fearless for his age; he would no doubt have been scouted by the big clubs at home.
There was a good ebb and flow to the game, with neither side dominating possession or chances. Approach play was generally decent, but both teams struggled in the final third. Shots flew off in all directions and so did the flip-flops ! As the players adjusted to the surface, so the goals started to rain in. It was a close affair. When one team got their noses in front, the other team would reply. This pattern continued until the score was 6-6. Next goals’ the winner! Piotr the Polish predator had the last word, slotting home after a nice team move.
I chucked the tiny young superstar the match ball at the end and he and his mates skipped off to play some more. We all piled back to the guesthouse for a few drinks; mainly water as most of the tuk tuk drivers were back at work later. I can’t thank them enough for taking time off work to play. Really great set of lads. Big thanks to Piotr and Men for getting stuck in on the night too! Everyone seemed to have really enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing all of Ola’s photos of the game!
I’ve loved my short time in Cambodia. The people here have been so incredibly genuine, generous and friendly. I’ll be sad to leave on Friday, but on I must go. Vietnam next. Onwards !