Paire U18 and MP United Silver clinched the last two semis berths in the 2011 FA Challenge Cup after recording separate victories at the Oleai Sports Complex Field last Saturday.
Paire U18 notched the third semis seat after beating MP United Blue in the first match at the Oleai pitch, 3-1, while MP United Silver secured the last Final Four ticket after eliminating Paire U15 in the second game of the day, 1-0.
The two semis matches will be played tomorrow with Paire U18 taking on MP United U18 at 5pm at the Oleai pitch. In the second game at 7:30pm, MP United Silver will challenge Matansa FC U18. Winners of the two semis games will duel for the championship this Saturday.
Zhi Lin made a pair of goals for Paire, while Timothy Tawanpiy scored the other goal. David Kim nailed the lone goal for MP United Blue, which is composed of U15 players.
Up against a more experienced team, MP United Blue had Paire U18’s numbers early in the game when Kim scored. MP United Blue went on to keep the lead at halftime, as Paire U18 still struggled on offense.
However, Paire found its rhythm in the second half with Lin nailing twin goals and Tawanpiy also finding the back of the net.
Paire U18 drew a first-round bye in Pool A of the 10-team FA Challenge Cup and automatically advanced to the quarterfinals. MP United Blue had to beat Matansa U15, 3-1, to march into the next round against Paire U18.
Paire U18’s semis foe, MP United U18, drew Paire women squad in the first round of Pool A matches and won, 11-1, to move into the semis.
In Pool B, Paire U15 was paired first against Tan Holdings and prevailed, 3-2, to set a semis duel against MP United Silver, which had a bye in the first round. Matansa U18 and Shirley’s FC women’s team were pitted in the other Pool B matches with the former winning, 2-1.
The FA Challenge Cup is the culmination of Northern Mariana Island Football Association’s 2011 season, featuring two women’s teams, five boys U15 squads, and three boys U18 teams.