Competition in Division A of the M-League Spring 2021 is getting interesting nearly half way into the season, as the Top 4 squads are bunched up in the team standings.
TanHoldings Football Club is barely clinging to the No. 1 spot with its 5-1-0 win-draw-loss record after settling for a draw against the NMI Boys U18 National Team A during their April 9 match at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. TanHoldings, after six games, has earned 16 points, just one marker ahead of Paire, which improved its record to 5-0-1 following a 3-2 triumph over Kanoa last Sunday. At close third with 14 points and 4-2-0 mark is the NMI U18 A, while in fourth place with a 4-0-2 card and 12 points is MP United.
TanHoldings avoided absorbing its first loss of the season when Martin Jambor delivered the equalizer in the 76th minute. Earlier in the 63rd minute, Kaden Church scored for the NMI U18 A to threaten the division-leading team.
Paire continued to breath down TanHoldings’ neck after nosing out Kanoa last weekend. Eric Barajas made back-to-back goals for Paire, getting the first one in the 55th minute and the second 13 minutes later to give his team enough cushion. Peter Loken logged the other goal for Paire when he found his target in the 10th minute, while siblings Raphael and Russell Zapanta put Kanoa on the board in the 50th and 77th minute, respectively.
Meanwhile, MP United stayed in fourth place in Division A standings after topping The One FC last Sunday, 3-1.
Skyler Poon led MP United’s fourth victory of the season after scoring a pair. He found the back of the net first in the 13th minute and had another conversion 12 minutes later, while Sunjoon Tenorio closed out for MP United with his goal in the 56th minute.
Boaz Soo Hyun Lim scored the lone goal (35th minute) for the winless The One FC.
In other results in the division, the Old B Bank and NMI U18 B engaged in a scoreless draw.
Saipan United 2, Bangladesh FC 1
Saipan United notched win No. 5 and kept the lead in the division after nipping Bangladesh FC last Saturday.
Ichiro Borja handed the pair of goals for Saipan United in the second half with his first registered in the 52nd minute and the last in the 60th. Bangladesh threatened to mount a late comeback when Mohammad Islam scored in the 81st minute, but the team still fell short.
Shirley’s 2, Island Star 0
Shirley’s moved up to second place after shutting down Island Star last April 6.
Irish Pagarao and Dhiraj Chhetri delivered the goals for Shirley’s with the former scoring in the 14minute and the latter in the 30th.
WNT 2, Matansa 1
The NMI Women’s Team pulled off a come-from-behind win over Matansa.
Kaithlynn Chavez and Tamia Hix teamed up in giving the WNT the close victory. Chavez made the game-tying goal in the 86th minute, while Hix hit the go-ahead two minutes later. Earlier in the 70th minute, Matansa drew a goal from Juhn Tenorio to boost its chance to get win No. 3 before the WNT stole the game.