Tan Holdings FC clinched the Division 1 championships in the M-League. Thanks to Paire Football Club.
Tan Holdings defeated Paire in a make-up game last week, 1-0, while the latter stunned Wild Bill’s in another rescheduled match, 2-1, last Sunday, leaving the former alone at the top spot of the team standings. Tan Holdings finished the double-round robin competition with a 5-2-1 record win-draw-loss record, 13 goals and 17 points, just one marker ahead of Wild Bill’s, which owned a 5-1-2 slate and 23 goals—the most scored in the division.
Paire had a 2-1-5 card, tying Korean Football Association on Saipan. However, despite its spoiler role in Wild Bill’s bid for the division title, Paire lost in the tiebreak and will be relegated to Division 2 next season. Inter Godfather’s finished in the middle of the pack with its 3-1-4 card.
Russelle Zapanta scored the lone goal in Tan Holdings’ crucial win against Paire on Nov. 28, breaking the club’s silence in the 63rd minute.
Then in the Paire-Wild Bill’s tiff scheduled as the opener of last Sunday’s final round, youth player Timothy Tawanpiy drilled the winning goal. His go-ahead goal came less than nine minutes before the match ended.
Tyler Wilsey made the other goal for Paire, as he lit up the scoreboard in the 24th minute. Paire went on to keep the shaky lead at halftime, as Wild Bill’s continued to struggle offensively in the first 45 minutes of play.
Wild Bill’s then equalized right into the first minute of the second half off Adul Detdon’s goal and the match remained in standoff for about 30 minutes before Tawanpiy saved the day for Paire and foiled its foe’s title bid.
Inter Godfather’s 5, KFAS 4
Inter Godfather’s ended its campaign in Division 1 on a winning note after edging KFAS in the second game last Sunday.
Masatoshi Otsuka connected on the winning goal with less than seven minutes remaining in the match. Ropati Tonu’u also contributed to Inter’s cause, scoring a pair, while Peter Houk and Shunji Nagayasu added one each.
Houk had his goal in the 19th minute, while Tonu’u made his first for Inter’s 2-0 lead two minutes later. Chong Koo Gil cut the deficit to one, 1-2, with his goal in the 22nd and after Tonu’u’s second goal in the 32nd gave Paire more distance, Jin Koo Cho kept KFAS in the game, 2-3, with a goal two minutes before the first half wrapped up.
The match remained close in the second half with Sang Ho Choi hitting the equalizer in the 47th minute. KFAS then grabbed the upper hand four minutes later, 4-3, off Sung Ho Kang’s goal, and hung on to the lead for more than 10 minutes before Inter got back into its senses and nailed the last two goals for the win.
Nagayasu scored in the 66th for the second deadlock in the game, while Otsuka secured the victory 17 minutes later.
MP United 11, Kanoa Resort 0
In Division 2, MP United capped its perfect season with a bang, whipping Kanoa Resort in the final game last Sunday.
Visiting player and Philippine National Team to Homeless World Cup coach Rudy del Rosario made his presence felt in league, firing four goals. Del Rosario, who is also a former PH National Team member, is on Saipan to conduct a two-week camp for MP United youth players.
Joining del Rosario in the scoring spree against hapless Kanoa Resort were Jason Warren (two goals), Xu Zheng, Joe Miller (two goals), and Jireh Yobech.
With its immaculate 8-0-0 card, MP United will move to Division 1 next season. Kanoa had a winless debut in the M-League to finish last in the division behind Shirley’s FC (2-0-6) and Matansa (6-0-2).