The CNMI U16 National lost to host China, 0-14, in the opening of the AFC U16 Qualifying Tournament last Wednesday night at the Hankou Culture and Sports Stadium in Wuhan.
The Teen Ayuyus came into their debut match in the Group I qualifier less than 24 hours after arriving in China and the host quickly capitalized, scoring in the fourth minute of the game. Midfielder Zhang Huangchen put China on the board and went on to find the back of the net in the 39th and 69th minute. The host moved up, 8-0, at halftime, as forward Duan Liuyu had a hat-trick, scoring in the 6th, 11th, and 38th, while forward Liu Ruofan and midfielder Nie Meng added one apiece, lighting up the board in the 16th and 29th minute, respectively.
China’s five other goals in the second half came from starters Shengzhi (64th), Gong Chunjie (61st), and Ruofan (58th), and substitute midfielders Lin Zefeng (77th), Xie Zhiwei (82nd). China used 14 players in its first game.
Thirteen players also suited up for the Teen Ayuyus against China. The starters were Kennedy Izuka, Won Young Kim, Terrence Belcher, Joel Fruit, David Yan, Aaron Lee, Jordan Butcher, Carlson Cruzat, Kenneth Mafnas, and Julian Pellegrino. Diego Masfa, William Hinson II, and Ryu Tanzawa came off the bench.
“It was a very tough game against a very big country last night, but the boys learned some things on the field and never gave up. Three or four players really stepped up and gave great efforts. We were very proud of the effort and team spirits are high going into tomorrow’s (today) match,” team manager Wesley Bogdan wrote on the squad’s unofficial website.
The Teen Ayuyus took a break yesterday and will be playing North Korea at 3:30pm today. North Korea came from a 3-0 win over Myanmar in last Wednesday’s first game. Jong Chang Bom scored twin goals for North Korea, while Han Kwang Song nailed the other one and all three goals were recorded in the second half.