“Clash of the Gods” – KMH Champions League 2019 Finals
In a heated final match, ISI GROUP United and Pisnoka FC took to the field on Saturday, July 6th to see who would take home the coveted KMH Champions League trophy.
An early red card in the first half made it an uphill battle for ISI GROUP United and neither team were able to score during the regular game. Pisnoka FC played to their strengths, attacking down the flanks of the field. Despite being down a player, ISI GROUP United tapped into their inner drive, playing with discipline and concentration.
The KMH Stadium was filled to the brim with excited fans chanting for their team. With Ganesh representing ISI GROUP United and Vishnu representing Pisnoka FC, the match was aptly dubbed the “Clash of the Gods.” The atmosphere was intense and the pressure to win was high.
“To win the game, we need to believe, we need to be united as a team. We need to concentrate from the beginning to the end. Both teams are very hungry to win the game. For us to win, we will need to use all our energy, we will need to be patient, be aggressive and be ready,” said John (Jean) Botioba, ISI GROUP United Head Coach. “Talent, if you don’t work hard, is nothing,” he added.
After a punishing 90 minutes of gameplay, ISI GROUP United pulled ahead, winning the game during the penalty shots and taking home the big win. The final score was 6-5, ending the angst with a passionate excitement throughout the stadium. Neither Pisnoka FC nor ISI GROUP United had made it to the championship's finals before and with personal pride and the championship on the line, the stakes were high and each team fought for the win. Both teams brought their best to the match, playing with vigor and integrity.
“I’m so proud. . . I told my players, ‘You made a story. What you did today, people cannot erase,’” said Coach Botioba. “They played with heart,” he added.
This was the KMH Champions League’s 4th year running and ISI GROUP United’s first time winning the trophy. The league has been growing each year as it continues to build a dedicated and passionate semi-professional football community and fan base around itself.
“I feel surprised that from year to year more strong teams come [to the league] and the current teams are also preparing very well. Also, ISI GROUP United performed the best since we started the KMH Champions League. . . we did not lose one match. It is their best record since we started the club,” said Sovann Siek, KMH Foundation Senior Program Manager.
Despite being a great season for the KMH Champions League, the KMH Foundation plans to improve the league. After listening to the participating teams and supporters, they will modify some rules and regulations to improve the games, according to Mr. Siek. The Foundation also plans on updating the livestreaming of games and providing internet connection at the stadium.
The KMH Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of ISI GROUP, organizes the KMH Champions League, KMH Cup, KMH Academy and other semi-professional and youth football tournaments and programs in Cambodia. Driven by our goal to give back to the communities we do business in, the KMH Foundation sports program promotes healthy lifestyles, empowers youth, builds player and coaching capacity, and further develops football in Cambodia.
After winning the KMH Champions League, ISI GROUP United’s eyes are already on next season, which is set to kick off in early 2020.
“[Our] goal for next season is to. . . develop the young players and build on their talents. The future belongs to the youth,” said Coach Botioba on his plans for next season.
To watch the full match between ISI GROUP United and Pisnoka FC, click here.
ISI GROUP is dedicated to giving back to the communities we do business in as a part of our vision of creating and building a better living for all. To learn more about ISI GROUP’s CSR programs through the KMH Foundation, click here.