Kohtaro Goto scored the CNMI’s first goal in the Group G Asian Football Confederation U16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers last Monday at the Madya Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Goto knocked in an upper 90 cross from near the left center just past the penalty arc in the 87th minute of their game against Brunei. Goto’s conversion came after a series of passes, starting from Oliver Fajardo’s forward feed from the other side of the pitch to Maniago, who then swung the ball back to Goto. Maniago then curled to left defense, while Goto kicked the ball to Bachani, who hit it back to the former. Then just when Maniago seemed ready to attack a Brunei defender, he backpedalled and stopped his dribble to turn the leather over to Goto for the CNMI’s first goal in the competition.
Three minutes after Goto’s conversion, midfielder Idzzaham Aleshahmezan Metali scored his third goal in the match, completing Brunei’s 5-1 victory.
Brunei took the win despite being shut down in the first half by the much-improved CNMI defense. Brunei finally hit the board in the 49th minute off Danisyh Syariee Masrazni’s goal, while Metali registered his two other goals in the 60th and 73rd minute. Syaherrul Afendy Syahmirul Nizam was the other scorer for Brunei, as he hit his target in the 84th minute.
With the victory, Brunei now has a 1-0-1 win-draw-loss record (lost to China in its first game, 0-7). The CNMI absorbed its second straight defeat, but played better since dropping its debut in the Group G qualifier last Saturday against the Philippines (0-7).
Before battling Brunei, head coach Michiteru Mita and staff met with the Teen Ayuyus and broke down their first game.
“During training, the coaches stressed and isolated each weakness and gap in our defensive shape and worked on the formation and defensive tactics required of our players in order to prevent yesterday’s (Saturday’s) mistakes from happening again. The team had a short meeting before dinner where we analyzed each goal we conceded; how it started, what went wrong, what should have been done. All in all, with the first game behind them as experience, and with the continued effort and preparation outside of the field, we believe the team is more ready for the upcoming matches,” team manager Mikky Vargas said.
The CNMI crew took a break last night and will return to the pitch tonight to face host Indonesia, which defeated the Philippines, 4-0, last Monday. The Teen Ayuyus will then have their last match in the qualifier this Friday against group favorite China.