The CNMI Women’s National Team this time refused to back down against Guam, forcing a scoreless draw in their final game in the EAFF E-1 Football Championships 2019 Round 1 at the Mongolian Football Federation Stadium in Ulan Bator last Friday.
The standoff came after Guam won its four previous duels against the Commonwealth in East Asian Football Federation-sanctioned tournaments. Guam first met the CNMI in the EAFF Women’s Football Championship 2010 Semifinal Competition in 2009 in Chinese-Taipei and prevailed, 5-1. The next three victories were via shutouts with Guam downing its neighbor at the EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup 2013 at the Leo Palace in 2012, 6-0; in the EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup 2015 in 2014, also in Guam, 7-0; and the EAFF E-1 Football Championships 2017 Round 1 in 2016, 5-0.
The draw against Guam in the EAFF qualifier was the second for the Luem Khen Koo-coached team, as it also tied Macau last week. The CNMI bets finished the tournament with a 0-2-1 win-draw loss record with its defeat coming from Mongolia, 2-3. The visiting team placed third overall in the final rankings ahead of Macau, while Mongolia, with its 1-0 win over Guam, ruled the qualifier to advance to Round 2. The Round 2 tournament will be played in November this year with the venue yet to be announced.
Goalie Emalyn Aniana blanked Guam and was joined on the starting unit by Guine Borja, Sharmaine Francisco, Gillian Villagomez, Jerlyn Castillo, Gabrielle Race, Gianna Griffin, Britany Wally, Janelle Chojnacki, Jeralyn Castillo, and Therize Millare. Carla Ballesteros was the substitute goalie and kept Guam without a goal, while Paulyn Joyce and Emiliana King also saw action for the CNMI in its last game. Majority of the members of squad were scheduled to return to Saipan today.
Meanwhile, the CNMI Men’s National Team returned on island yesterday after completing their competition in Mongolia. The Blue Ayuyus had a 0-1-2 mark in the tournament, which Mongolia topped after holding a 2-1-0 mark. Mongolia also won three of the four individual awards in the event with defender Norjmoo Tsendenbal and midfielder Tsasan-Okhin Orgodol getting the MVP medals in the men’s and women’s division, and forward Batbold Baljinnyam winning the Golden Boot award in the men’s field. Guam Kaycee Lilian Hoover was the Golden Boot winner in the women’s division.