Paire, Shirley’s enter semis


Paire Football Club’s Jonathan Takano kicks the ball during an earlier Division A game in the 2018 Spring M-League at the Hopwood Middle School Field. Paire is now in the semifinals after beating Kanoa last Sunday, 4-2. (Contributed Photo)

Shirley’s Football Club and Paire FC barged into the semifinals of their respective divisions in the 2018 Spring M-League after eliminating their playoff opponents last Sunday.

In Division B, Shirley’s walloped the CNMI U16 Women’s National Team, 11-3, during their game at the Koblerville Elementary School Field to move into the Final Four round where it will face the top-ranked Korean Football Association this Sunday at 4pm. KFAS got the outright semis berth in the group after earning a field-best 9-0-1 win-draw-loss record, while Shirley’s finished with a 4-1-5 card to rank fourth, losing the tiebreak to Sun Palace and winning over the U16 WNT.

In its third matchup against the U16 WNT this season, Shirley’s picked up where it left off, dominating its foes right out of the gate. Shirley’s won their second meeting, 5-1, while the U16 WNT edged out the former in the first round, 3-2.

Shirley’s sealed their third meeting after taking a 6-1 halftime lead. Jun Liu led Shirley’s strong start as he made a hat trick right in the first half after scoring in the ninth, 24th, and 27th minute. Guo Heng Piao added a pair in the 13th and 19th minute, while Jerry Tan delivered one in the 30th. Angie Ito scored the lone goal for the U16 WNT in the first half when she hit the board in the 39th minute.

In the second half, Liu slowed down and was held to one field goal, but young guns Jedidiah Peteru and Jeralyn Castillo stepped up to finish off the U16 WNT. Castillo’s brace were recorded in the 48th and 76th minute, while Peteru had the same feat in the 62nd and 78th.

Ito had one more goal for the ousted U16 WNT, while Katrina Costales made the other goal for the losing squad in the second half.

In the other playoff game in Division B, Sun Palace blanked Pacific Islands Club, 4-0, to set up a semis tiff against No. 2 Matansa this Sunday at 2pm.

Daniel Pablo towed Sun Palace to the semis after scoring in the 57th and 67th minute, while Brian Lubao and Feng Yu chipped in one apiece in the 26th and 59th, respectively.

In Division A, Paire booked the fourth and last semis ticket after downing Kanoa last weekend at the Hopwood Middle School Field, 4-2.

Four different players hit the board for Paire with Peter Loken starting things off for the squad after finding his target in the 24th minute. Paire went on to post a 3-1 halftime edge, thanks to Gerard Van Gils and Jonathan Takano’s goals in the 28th and 36th minute, respectively. Daniel Agulto closed out for Paire in the 70th minute, while Kanoa got its two goals from Ian Maniago and Ruselle Zapanta in the 31st and 65th.

After dispatching Kanoa, Paire will go up against TanHoldings in this Sunday’s 1:30pm battle for the first finals berth in the division. TanHoldings finished second in the preliminary to get one of the two automatic semis berths.

MP United notched the other outright Final Four ticket after being ranked first in the division and will collide against the Teen Ayuyus in the other semis match also this Sunday at 3:30pm. The Teen Ayuyus earned the third semis slot in their group following a 2-0 triumph over Okadaya.

Rintaro Miyawaki and Taka Borja fired the two late goals for Teen Ayuyus with the former scoring in the 72nd minute and the latter three minutes later.

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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