Learning process continues for Teen Ayuyus


The CNMI’s Thaiphi Austria, third left, stays close on defense against Cambodia’s Ath Ontoch during the first half of their game in Group G of the Asian Football Confederation U19 Championship 2020 Qualifiers last Monday in Phnom Penh. (Asian Football Confederation)

The CNMI Boys U19 National Team has moved on from a loss to host Cambodia and is determined to make up for its mistakes when it takes on Thailand today in the continuation of the Asian Football Confederation U19 Championship 2020 Qualifiers in Phnom Penh.

The Teen Ayuyus were humbled by Cambodia, 9-0, last Monday or just two days after the CNMI bets engaged Brunei in a close game.

“The boys played hard though we felt they could push a bit more. The days of ‘parking the bus’ is no longer a thought, as we try to develop our own style of play and compete internationally,” team manager Ruselle Zapanta said.

“The majority of the match went well, as we tried to execute the game plan. But when mistakes were made, we were punished and gave up goals we otherwise should have not conceded,” he added.

Despite the defeat, Zapanta said the Teen Ayuyus are still in high spirits and will take all the lessons they learned from their game against Cambodia when they challenge Thailand, another tough team in the Group G qualifier. Thailand, which shut down Brunei last Monday in its first game, 9-0, will take on the CNMI in today’s curtain-raiser at 3:30pm (6:30pm).

“Our heads are kept high. Not much to frown upon, as the team continues to improve. We try to stay healthy and as fit as possible to overcome the already challenging schedule. No one has gotten sick yet, one had cramps during the matches or trainings, a few battle wounds but otherwise the team is great,” Zapanta added.

After its game against Thailand today, the CNMI will take a break tomorrow before returning to the National Olympic Stadium on Friday to meet ASEAN Football Federation U19 Championship runner-up Malaysia.

Malaysia edged Cambodia during the qualifier’s opening day last weekend, 5-4. The hosts went on to recover quickly from the sorry loss after drawing a hat trick from forward Sieng Chanthea and two goals apiece from Lim Pisoth and Thy Lieng in their game against the CNMI. Ly Mael and Wut Tola were the other scorers for Cambodia.

The CNMI’s starting 11 pose for a photo before playing against Cambodia in Group G of the Asian Football Confederation U19 Championship 2020 Qualifiers last Monday in Phnom Penh. (Contributed Photo)

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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