A calmer CNMI Girls U14 National Team showed up in its game against China in the AFC U14 Girls Regional Championships last Wednesday night at the Xianghe Football Training Center in Beijing, China.
The Commonwealth bets lost the match, but allowed fewer goals (18) compared to their opening game against Japan.
“The girls have left their anxiety and nervousness from the first game behind. Although we lost, 18-0, the girls played so much better. They did their very best and it was a good performance,” team manager Angie Ito said in an email to Saipan Tribune.
“The girls were not as nervous as yesterday (last Tuesday) and they were ready to bring it on against China,” Ito added.
The CNMI crew, which had captain Princess Alcantara, keeper Irish Viray, Khristelle Itaas, Patricia Surima, Paulynn Joyce, Julianne Hall, Leisha Sally, Katrina Costales, Esther Jones, Lillian Podziewski, and Valeria Myers as starters, limited the hosts to seven goals in the first half, less than 6 from the number they gave up in their opener. Sharmaine Francisco, Therize Millare, Francesco Bucalig, and Hannah Santos also suited up against China.
“Before the game, the girls also watched a close match between South Korea and Japan,” Ito said.
Japan won, 2-0, and was going for a sweep last night as it was set to face China in the first game at 2pm (4pm Saipan time). The CNMI played in the final pool play game against South Korea at 7pm and results of the match were unavailable at press time. A Japan win will put the team in first place in Pool A and in the semifinals. South Korea and China, which engaged in a 2-2 draw during the tournament’s opening match, will have to break the tie for the second place and the last semis ticket that goes with it. The Top 2 finishers in Pool A will collide against their counterparts in Pool B. North Korea, pending last night’s results, leads Pool B with its 2-0 record after beating Guam and Chinese-Taipei. Guam has a 1-1 record as it won over Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, draws for two more women’s competitions in the AFC were held yesterday.
In the AFC U19 Women’s Championships 2017, the CNMI is in Group A along with Australia, Jordan, Singapore, and Lebanon. There are three other groups in the preliminary tournament. In the AFC U16 Women’s Championships 2017, the CNMI has been drawn win South Korea, India, Philippines, Malaysia, and Lebanon in Group B.