Kanoa FC wins opener vs Thundercats


The Thundercats’ Hyun Joung Anh, right, uses his knee to deflect the ball, while Kanoa FC’s Ruselle Zapanta stays close on defense during the second half of their Division B game in the opening week of the M-League last Sunday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The fall season of the M-League opened over the weekend with Kanoa Football Club leading the winners list in the kick-off.

Kanoa outclassed the Thundercats, 5-3, in their Division B game last Sunday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field for a good start in the six-team field. It was a come-from-behind victory for Kanoa, as the Thundercats were on top, 3-2, at halftime.

Timothy Tawanpiy knocked in back-to-back goals for the Thundercats, while Peter Oh scored one to give their squad a shaky lead after 40 minutes of play. Tawanpiy earned his first goal of the season just three minutes into the game, which went to a deadlock 13 minutes later after Owen Ji put Kanoa on the board in the 16th minute.

Kanoa then grabbed the upper hand in the 22nd minute, thanks to Ruselle Zapanta’s shot. However, the Thundercats forced the second standoff in the match when Tawanpiy retaliated in the 33rd and a minute later the Greg Borja-captained team regained the driver’s seat off Oh’s goal.

Another conversation from Ji in the 48th minute had the match even anew before a penalty kick from Zapanta four minutes later broke the standoff. Kanoa went on to secure the win off an insurance from Rodwealth Espana in the 65th minute, while the Thundercats continued their silence in the second half to drop their opening game.

CNMI U16 7, CNMI Women’s 2
In the first Division B match last Saturday, the CNMI Boys U16 dominated the CNMI Women’s National Team.

Mark Esalan powered the CNMI Boys U16 to the easy win after firing four goals in succession. He hit his first in the 16th minute, while the last three came in the 26th, 27th, and 34th. Earlier in the seventh minute, Jonah Pohl scored the squad’s first goal and the CNMI Boys U16 went on to build a 5-1 halftime advantage. Janelle Chojnacki posted the lone goal for the CNMI Women’s National Team in the first half (33rd minute).

In the second half, it was the Commonwealth’s female team’s turn to score first when Gillian Villagomez found the back of the net in the 45th minute. However, that was the last time Villagomez and company hit the board, while the CNMI Boys U16 added two more off Anthony Fruit’s penalty conversion in the 63rd and John Michael Rojas’ shot three minutes later.

Shirley’s FC 6, Dragon FC 1
Over at the Hopwood Junior High School Field, Shirley’s FC gave Dragon FC a rude welcome in the league following the former’s rout of the latter last Sunday.

Kosuke Sato led Shirley’s victory as he made four goals, including the hat trick in succession. Sato registered his first goal in the 21st minute and the three straight in the 35th, 55th, and 57th. Jun Liu tallied the two other goals for Shirley’s, gaining his first in the 14th minute and the last in the 31st.

Ding Yi recorded the lone goal for the debuting Dragon FC.

TanHoldings FC 10, Matansa FC 1

TanHoldings FC posted the most lopsided win in the opening week of the M-League after whipping Matansa in their Division A game.

Martin Jambor stood tall in TanHoldings’ strong start after earning four goals. Jonathan Capayas, Shingo Suzuki, Joshua De Leon, and Ant Coles chipped in one goal apiece for TanHoldings, which got two own goals off Amzad Khan and Kamrul Kamrul’s miscues. Kamrul knocked in Matansa’s only goal in its opening game.

MP United 2, Sun Palace 1
In the other Division A match, MP United edged newly promoted Sun Palace.

MP United logged all two goals in the first half and hung on to the lead in the second to win its opener. Former youth player Yoshi Mafnas scored his first goal (in the 23rd minute) in MP United uniform, while another newcomer on the club Meng De Ka hit the other goal for the team in the 28th minute.

Sun Palace, which topped the spring season of Division B to move up to Division A, got its lone goal from Hyunjun Roh.

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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