CNMI drops opener in AFC regional


Host China posted a lopsided 15-0 win over the CNMI U14 Girls National Team in the AFC U14 Girls Regional Championships (East) 2015 last Tuesday night at the National Football Training Centre in Beijing.

The CNMI U14 National Girls Team and the squad’s officials prepare for a training session in Beijing, China last Sunday. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI U14 National Girls Team and the squad’s officials prepare for a training session in Beijing, China last Sunday. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI bets gave up nine goals to China in the first half before improving their defense a bit in the second, allowing the host to only six goals. Midfield Zhang Linyan led China with her five goals, while fellow midfielder Ou Yiyao had a hat-trick. Team captain Qian Qian and forward Yanan contributed two goals each, while midfielders Shen Mengyu and Yinghua and defender Xu Ting added one apiece.

Despite bowing to China by a big margin, CNMI team officials said their players should still hold their head high for doing their best in the opener.

“We encouraged and told the team that despite the loss we are proud to see their fighting spirit in the game against China,” team manager Angie Ito said in a message posted on the squad’s unofficial website.

The CNMI squad had Toremy Diaz as starting goalkeeper and she was joined on the starters list by team captain Lyka Sally, midfielders Jerlyn Castillo, Katrina Costales, and Gillian Villagomez, forwards Guinevere Borja and Angelica Sally, and defenders Princess Alcantara, Samantha Manacop, Erica Santiago, and Anela Duenas. Goalie Katherine Magat, Grace Choi, Jasmine Phan, Jobelle Tabuena, and Franchesca Bucalig also played as substitutes.

“Although we lost the game against China yesterday (last Tuesday), the girls are up and ready for today’s match (versus North Korea),” Ito added.

The Commonwealth youth players were scheduled to collide against North Korea yesterday at 5pm (7pm on Saipan). North Korea, another favored team in Group B, also posted a one-sided victory against Hong Kong, 10-0, last Tuesday.

After its game against North Korea, the CNMI squad closes out the pool play against Hong Kong today. Only the Top 2 teams in each pool will advance to the next round of the tournament. Winners of the Final Four matches will then duke it out for the East regional championship this Saturday. As of last Tuesday’s opening matches, Chinese-Taipei and South Korea are ranked Top 2 in Group A. Chinese-Taipei blanked Guam, 4-0, while South Korea defeated Japan, 2-0.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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