M-League starts playoff round


Okadaya and Teen Ayuyus players wait for the corner kick during their Division A game in the elimination round of the M-League last month at the Hopwood Middle School Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

It’s playoff time for the M-League with eight teams out to fight for survival this Sunday.

No. 3 Sun Palace will take on No. 6 Okadaya at 2pm at the Hopwood Middle School Field for one of the two remaining semis slots in Division A. No. 4 Kanoa Football Club and No. 5 Paire will then collide at 4pm for the last Final Four berth in the division. Winners of the pair of playoff matches at the Hopwood pitch will join TanHoldings and the Teen Ayuyus to the semifinals.

TanHoldings and the Teen Ayuyus automatically moved to the Final Four after finishing in the Top 2 in the elimination round. TanHoldings earned a perfect 5-0-0 win-draw-loss record in the regular season, keeping its unbeaten mark following a 2-0 victory over the Teen Ayuyus last Nov. 19. Martin Jambor and Joshua De Leon scored in TanHoldings’ shutout win over the Teen Ayuyus, which wrapped up the elimination with a 5-0-1 slate.

Sun Palace was ranked third in Division A with its 4-0-1 mark, capping off the regular season with a 9-0 thrashing of MP United (1-0-5). Junsik Kim drilled four goals for Sun Palace, while Joe Miller contributed three, and Daniel Agulto chipped in two.

Okadaya, on the other hand, faltered in its last match before the playoffs, bowing to Kanoa. Rodwealth Espana nailed a pair of goals, while Owen Ji, Ruselle Zapanta, and Toby Jones scored one each for Kanoa, which ended the elimination with a 2-1-3 record. Odakaya drew its lone goal from Peter Oh and had only one win against five losses entering this Sunday’s playoffs.

In Division B, No. 1 Matansa will face last placer Women’s National Team at 4pm with a finals berth at stake in their duel at the Koblerville Elementary School.

Matansa was undefeated in six games in the regular season, maintaining its clean slate after a 3-0 triumph (via forfeiture) over Korean Football Association on Saipan last Nov. 19.

KFAS played only three matches and won just once. The No. 3 KFAS will challenge No. 2 Shirley’s FC in the other semis game at 2pm, also at the Koblerville pitch. Shirley’s got two wins out of its four assignments before the playoffs, posting its last victory against the Women’s National Team, 5-2. Jack Phan powered Shirley’s past the Women’s National Team after firing a hat trick, while Hua Yan and Jedidiah Peteru scored the two other goals for the winning squad. Katrina Costales and Janelle Chognaki delivered the goals for the Women’s National Team, which was winless in five matches.

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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