The CNMI U16 National Team finished their assignments in the AFC U16 Qualifying Tournament over the weekend at the Hankou Culture and Sports Stadium in Wuhan, China.
The Teen Ayuyus challenged North Korea last Friday and fell, 0-18, and then returned to the pitch last Sunday and played better defense in their 0-5 loss to Myanmar.
Against North Korea, which eventually ruled the Group I qualifier to advance to the AFC U16 Championships in Thailand next year, the CNMI faced a 0-10 deficit after 45 minutes of play. Defensive adjustments were made in the second and final half and this time, North Korea did not able to score in twin digits, while the Teen Ayuyus managed to create some scoring opportunities.
“After a very disappointing first half, the team was able to pull it together in the second and created a couple of great chances to score. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the boys will have their work cut out for them in the final game against Myanmar. The DPR Korea team is the favorite to win the competition and tonight (last Friday) they showed why it is so highly rated,” team manager Wes Bogdan wrote in the squad’s unofficial website.
No other details of the CNMI’s match against Korea were provided, as only the list of starters was mentioned in the AFC website. Joshua Galarion was the goalkeeper for the Teen Ayuyus and was joined in the starting 11 by Kenneth Mafnas, Aaron Lee, David Yang, James David, Joel Fruit, Ivan Seo, William Hinson, Won Young Kim, Kennedy Izuka, and Diego Masga. Ryu Tanzawa, Jin Hiu Deng, and Ryan Relucio were the substitutes.
Versus Myanmar, Galarion was also the goalie for the Teen Ayuyus. Completing the starting roster were Masga, Izuka, Yang, Kim, Hinson, Fruit, Mafnas, Masga, Tanzawa, and Julian Pellegrino. Terrence Belcher, Reniel Relucio, and David came off the bench.
The CNMI held Myanmar past the halfway mark of the first half before Soe Moe Tun put the latter on the board with his goal in the 37th minute. Myanmar went on to get an own goal in the extended first half to take a 2-0 lead at the break.