The CNMI Boys U16 National Team made it to the board for the second straight time, scoring in the first half of their game against Indonesia in the Group G Asian Football Confederation U16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers last Wednesday at the Madya Stadium in Jakarta.
Forward Jim Maniago found the back of the net in the 45th minute, thanks to goalie Merrick Toves, who got out of the penalty area and kicked the ball that headed past the former and two Indonesian defenders. Maniago then beat the two Indonesian players in a foot race and unloaded the shot just before the defender to his right moved in. Goalkeeper Imade Putra Kaicen was the last line on defense for Indonesia, as he left his spot, reaching for the ball to his right, but missed it, as the leather bounced to the goal area and looped in.
Maniago’s conversation came after Indonesia registered six goals in the first half. The host country added nine more in the second half to complete its domination of the Teen Ayuyus. Midfielder Marselino Ferdinan led the Indons with his five goals (eighth, 51st, 53rd, 63rd, and 90th minute), while forward Ahmad Athalaah Araihan added four (16th, 18th, 26th, and 42nd minute). Forwards Ruy Arianto and Wahyu Pratama chipped in two goals apiece, while midfielder Aditiya Daffa Al Haqi and defender Mikael Alredo Tata contributed one each.
With the lopsided win, Indonesia boosted its chances for the No. 1 spot in the qualifier, as it improved to a 2-0-0 win-draw-loss record—the same mark China has. The CNMI fell to a 0-0-3 slate and will play its last game against China today. The Philippines (1-0-2) and Brunei (1-0-1) are the other teams in Group G where the top finisher after the round-robin play will advance to the finals that will be played in September next year.
The Teen Ayuyus are hoping to score for the third straight time to end their campaign in the qualifier on a positive note. Kohtaro Goto gave the CNMI its first goal in the tournament last Monday after hitting the board in their match versus Brunei.
U14 national team tryouts
Meanwhile, Northern Mariana Islands Football Association will kick off a series of tryouts for the CNMI Boys U14 National Team on Sept. 25 at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
The tryouts will be held every Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm and will run until Oct. 23. Only U.S. citizen players born in 2005 and 2006 are allowed in the series of tryouts, which NMIFA is holding to select the CNMI’s representatives to the East Asian Football Federation U15 Football Festival next year.
For more information, contact the NMIFA office at 235-0173 or send email to email@example.com.