CNMI drops opener in EAFF qualifier

CNMI Men’s National Team head coach Michiteru Mita, seventh left, and captain Jonathan Takano, right, join their counterparts from Mongolia, Guam, and Macau during the press conference for the EAFF E-1 Football Championships 2019 Round 1 last Saturday in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI Men’s National Team bowed to rival Guam, 0-4, during the opening game in the EAFF E-1 Football Championships 2019 Round 1 yesterday at the Mongolian Football Federation Stadium in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

The Blue Ayuyus gave up two goals each to the Matao in the first and second half, allowing Guam to have a strong start in the four-team competition. Midfielder Devan Mendiola drew first blood for Guam with his shot in the 13th minute, while forward Marcus Lopez delivered the second one 12 minutes later. Guam’s third goal came from many-time national team member and midfielder Jason Cunliffe in the 65th minute, while Lopez closed out for the winning squad in three minutes later.

Goalie Dallas Jaye, Isaiah Lagutang, siblings Shawn and Travis Nicklaw, Mark Chargualaf, Dominic Gadia, Ryan Quitugua, and Rin Katsumata joined Lopez, Cunliffe, and Mendiola on the Matao’s starting unit.

The CNMI, on the other hand, had Jonathan Capayas, Hark Galarion, Enrico Del Rosario, Joel Fruit, Ryu Tanzawa, Jonathan Takano, Ryan Relucio, Sunjoon Tenorio, Dai Podziewski, John Michael Rojas, and Christopher Aninzo as its starters. Jehn Joyner, Nick Swaim, and Bo Barry also played in the Blue Ayuyus’ first game, replacing Capayas, Podziewski, and Tenorio, respectively.

Meanwhile, the CNMI bets will take a break today before returning to the MFF Stadium tomorrow to face Mongolia in the 5pm game (7pm Saipan time).

In the other match yesterday, Mongolia was headed to victory as it led Macau, 4-1, halfway through the second half. The finals scores in the second game and other details of the CNMI-Guam duel will reported in Saipan Tribune’s Tuesday edition.

Women’s team vs Mongolia today
Meanwhile, the CNMI Women’s National Team will have its debut match today when it takes on the host country at 5pm.

Like the Blue Ayuyus, the Commonwealth’s women’s team is also made up of young players. The women’s roster has Emalyn Aniana, Guinevere Borja, Sharmaine Francisco, Jerlyn and Jeralyn Castillo, Gillian Villagomez, Gabrielle Race, Gianna Griffin, Emiliana King, Britany Wally, Janelle Chojnacki, Carla Ballesteros, Krizel Tuazon, Therize Millare, Katrina Costales, Grace Choi, Pauylynn Joyce, and Sue Ann Huevos. Griffin arrived in Mongolia from the U.S. last Friday, while majority of the members of the squad came from a training camp in Japan and also made it to Mongolia last weekend. Costales, King, Francisco, and Joyce were reunited with their teammates last Saturday after flying out of Saipan Friday night.

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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