The Indochina Cup is the annual tournament between the Vietnam Swans, Cambodian Eagles, Thailand Tigers, Laos Elephants and Myanmar. Played in different cities each year and decided in a round-robin format, the Cup decides regional bragging rights… so the competition is always heated!
The 14th Edition of the Indochina Cup
The ICC has recently been a lead-in to the Asian Champs, still highly prized nonetheless. Bangkok was the scene for this year’s cup, with a full schedule of 30 minute games of 16-a-side at the idyllic Patana International School.
However, for the very first in several years the 2019 ICC was held after the Champs, offering a worthy conclusion to the season for the teams and a chance at redemption for some teams who were beaten by their local rivals at the Champs just over a month earlier.
The Men’s Tournament
Thailand had the home field advantage, but after victories in Hanoi in 2017 and Phnom Penh in 2018, the Vietnam Swans were very keen to make it a three-peat. The Cambodians had bought an all-star line up too, and this Cup was shaping up as anyone’s!
- Game 1: Vietnam vs Laos/Myanmar – Vietnam continued their winning form from Asian Champs and this turned a pretty one-sided affair while the Laos/Myanmar boys were finding their feet as a combined team. Trent Davies a standout with a few goals to keep the Swans momentum rolling in the second half.
- Game 2: Cambodia vs Thailand – An epic game, with Cambodia gradually winning the arm wrestle. Thailand had de-railed the Eagles tilt at the 2018 ICC in Phnom Penh in the very first game, and onlookers couldn’t help but think this was the Eagles returning the favour. Fair to say Eagles ruck Brycey was more than happy to see Niall ‘Big Red’ occupied in the backline, while Cambodia’s own Irish duo Ru Dee and Conor had great games in the middle. The return of Luke ‘Dukesy’ Creamer and big Fitzy helped Cambodia stave off a second half onslaught from the Tigers to win narrowly by 7 points. Cambodia establish themselves as the ones to chase.
- Game 3: Laos/Myanmar vs Thailand – Thailand win, but the combined team of Laos/Myanmar start linking up and kicked a couple – this would become significant later!
- Game 4: Cambodia vs Vietnam – Cambodia went into the break narrowly ahead but looking in control, before a huge fightback from the Swans. 4 goals 2 to 5 points in the second half saw the Swans win and seemingly wrap one wing around the Cup.
- Game 5: Thailand vs Vietnam – Thailand certainly came to play! Swans had not much up forward, and the Tigers never let them get started. All of a sudden… a three-way tie looked like the mostly outcome and percentage became very, very important..
- Game 6: Laos/Myanmar vs Cambodia – With a sniff that they could claim the Cup by kicking a huge score, Cambodia set upon Laos. The tide was stemmed (if momentarily) by some ripping goals from the opposing ‘Player of the Tournament’ Jezza. In the end, the Eagles couldn’t quite overcome the early deficit set in the loss to Vietnam…. Leaving the Swans to claim the ICC on percentage!
The AFLW Tournament
With only two teams competing, the girls played two separate matches on the day. Despite missing a few players due to the long weekend, the Tigers started strongly and had a few chances in their forward line but couldn’t quite capitalise with a goal. As they did all day, Cambodia’s backline held firm and were able to gradually move the ball down the wings into their forward half. The Apsaras’ tackling was relentless and helped them quell Thailand’s runners time after time. Cambodia eventually registered a goal through best on ground player, Ruby Cray, who quickly added another goal before live wire forward Sreykeo pounced on a loose ball to kick a major just before the siren.
In the second match, the Tigers again looked threatening with some great passages of play and long kicking. Thailand midfielder Chantelle repeated her dominant performance from the Asian Champs, however the Tigers remained frustratingly unrewarded for their efforts. The Apsaras kept up their intensity and managed to snag a couple more goals through Ruby and Sreylak to seal a memorable win.
It was a fitting send-off for All Asian captain Neat Khin, who has led the team since its inception. A great day for AFLW in Asia and with more and more teams becoming established, exciting times lay ahead!
Congratulations to Nick ‘Picasso’ Edwards from the Eagles for booting 7 goals to take out Leading Goal-kicker!
Honourable mention to Jeremy Rigney, who claimed the Player of the Tournament. Jezza played two games for Laos/Myanmar and polled the maximum 6 votes possible!
AFL Asia Indochina Cup Results
Men’s Game Results
Vietnam Swans 11.6 (72) vs Laos/Myanmar 0.0 (0)
Cambodian Eagles 6.5 (41) vs Thailand Tigers 5.2 (32)
Thailand Tigers 8.5 (53) vs Laos/Myanmar 3.2 (20)
Vietnam Swans 5.4 (34) vs Cambodian Eagles 3.1 (19)
Thailand Tigers 3.1 (19) vs Vietnam Swans 1.4 (10)
Cambodia Eagles 11.6 (72) vs Laos/Myanmar 2.0 (12)
Team W L Pts. F A %
Vietnam 2 1 8 126 38 331.6
Cambodia 2 1 8 132 78 275.0
Thailand 2 1 8 104 71 146.5
Laos/Myanmar 0 3 0 32 197 16.2
Cambodian Apsaras 3.3 (21) vs Thailand Tigers 0.2 (2)
Cambodian Eagles 5.6 (36) vs Thailand Tigers 0.2 (2)