The CNMI absorbed back-to-back losses in the first two days of the Preliminary Round 1 of the 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup.
The recent one came yesterday, as the Blue Ayuyus fell to Mongolia, 0-4, at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Harmon. Mongolia scored two goals apiece in the first and second half, drawing first blood around the 20-minute mark of the opening frame before getting its second goal in the closing minutes of the first period.
The CNMI had three chances to break into the board in the second half after Mongolia zoomed to a 4-0 lead and goalie Johann Noetzel foiled a fifth goal attempt, but the Blue Ayuyus failed to complete the plays. The first opportunity came past the 85-minute mark when Joe Miller had a cross pass to Daniel Agulto, who went for a header, but Mongolai’s defense was there to block the shot.
Jehn Joyner, who came in for Jireh Yobech five minutes before the second half ended, tried to attack Mongolia’s defense anew, but his attempt was way over the goal. The CNMI then went for one final bid to light up the scoreboard under the three-minute stoppage time, but Miller failed to convert on a free kick.
Miller started out for the Blue Ayuyus, along with Noetzel, Kennedy Izuka, Nick Swaim, Kirk Schuler, John Taisacan, Bo Barry, Yobech, Joel Fruit, Jonathan Takano, and Agulto. Trey Dunn, Joyner, and Russell Zapanta were the substitutes.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth’s women’s team opened the hostilities in the qualifier last Sunday afternoon and bowed to the host, 0-7.
Guam’s women’s team got three goals in the first half, courtesy of Paige Surber, Lauren Valla, and Dani Zavala, however coach Sang Hoon Kim said the shots and the conversions did not come easy for Masakåda.
“It’s never easy to score goals, but we did the job. The team from the CNMI seemed to play more defensively from the beginning and looked mostly for counterattack opportunities. With our opponents playing more of a defensive game, it was hard to get passes around their backline. We needed to try different combination plays and some worked,” Kim said in a press statement.
In the second half, the CNMI continued to focus on defense and made several stops before Guam bagged four more goals. Maria Amezola, Cici Kobinski, Samantha Kaufman, and Surber scored for the host in the second frame.
Meanwhile, both the CNMI men’s and women’s teams have time to regroup as they take a rest today. The Blue Ayuyus will resume their bid tomorrow when they take on Macau at 3pm, while their female counterparts will also challenge Macau on Thursday.