22 May was an historic day for Laotian and Cambodian football, when both nations' women's U-16 sides played their first-ever game. The organisation of the match was the result of the Cambodian Com Unity seminar, which was held in March in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The groundbreaking contest was a profound moment for both countries, their footballing development and their commitment to social issues.
The match ended 2-1 to the team from Laos, playing on home soil, but the result was far less important than the event itself. For the 22 young women who took part it was an experience that would make a permanent, and positive, mark on their lives.
Chantha, hailing from one of the poorest areas in the Cambodian capital, was one of the fortunate participants. Her pride in pulling on the jersey of her country was obvious after the match. "It was a first time that I could play football abroad and I was proud to be among the other 22 players to join in this great friendship match."
The delegation from Cambodia left Phnom Penh for Laos at 6.30am on 19 May. After almost two full days of coach travel, the team arrived in Vientiane, the capitol of Laos. For many like Chantha, it was their first time outside of their birth country and a moment to be savoured.