Kanoa U13 tops Challenge Cup


Kanoa Football Club U13 players, officers, and coaches pose with Northern Mariana Islands Football Association officials during the championship trophy presentation in the 2018 FA Boys and Girls Challenge Cup last Saturday at the Hopwood Middle School Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Kanoa Football Club’s championship collection is growing, as it added one more after ruling the 2018 FA Boys and Girls Challenge Cup last Saturday at the Hopwood Middle School Field.

Kanoa-1 U13 prevailed in last weekend’s competition after shutting down Matansa U13 in the finals, 3-0. Three different players delivered the goals for Kanoa-1 U13 with Jim Kurt Maniago breaking the ice in the 16th minute. Sean Gil then handed the eventual champion its second goal in the 27th minute, while Markus Toves put the icing on the cake with his shot right in the closing seconds of the 30-minute finale.

With its title win in the Challenge Cup this season, Kanoa now has six championships in the youth league. The club won the co-ed U12 crown in the 2016 and 2017 fall seasons, the girls U15 in 2017 fall, and the girls U16 and boys U15 in the 2018 spring.

Kanoa-1 U13 marched into the Challenge Cup finals after shutting down sister team Kanoa-2 U13 in the semifinals, 5-0. Gil, Maniago, Leland Deleon Guerrero, Taehun Han, and Andrew Sablan scored the goals in Kanoa-1 U13’s easy victory over Kanoa-2, which moved into the Final Four round following a 1-0 triumph over girls U16 runner-up Shirley’s FC. Markus Pelisamen logged the lone goal for Kanoa-2 after finding the back of the net in the ninth minute. Kanoa-1, on the other hand, notched a semis berth after blanking TanHoldings’ girls U16 squad, 4-0. Toves had a hat trick against TanHoldings, getting his first goal in the 11th minute and the last two in the 23 rd and 24th. Maniago recorded the other goal in Kanoa-1’s victory, lighting up the board in the 14th minute. Kanoa-1 and 2, TanHoldings U16, and Shirley’s U16 were on the east side of the draw.

On the west bracket, Matansa U13 survived and made it to the finals after slipping past Kanoa’s girls U16 crew, 1-0. Jose Rafael Lopez towed Matansa U13 to the semis win after hitting his target in the 28th minute.

The win over Kanoa U16 was third in a row for Matansa U13, as it prevailed over Matansa U16 (via forfeit) in the first match and then stunned U13 champion TanHoldings in the next round, 1-0. Wen Jin Xin posted the lone goal for Matansa U13 in the sixth minute.

After losing to Matansa U13 in the semis, Kanoa U16 settled for the third place honors following its 3-1 triumph over Kanoa-2. Sharmaine Francisco, Ericka Santiago, and Paulyn Joyce Grace scored for Kanoa U16, drilling their goals in the eighth, 25th, and 29th minute, respectively. Kanoa U16, earlier, nosed out MP United U13, 1-0—thanks to Francisco’s shot in the 24th minute—to enter the semis

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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