Saipan All-Stars edge Japanese foes


Saipan All-Stars and Japan Soccer College players ward off each other as they chase the ball during the second half of their friendly game yesterday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Saipan All-Stars nipped Japan Soccer College, 2-1, during their friendly game yesterday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field.

Sean Perez and Martin Jambor knocked in one goal apiece for the island’s selection, while Yoshinori Sugawara scored the lone goal for the visiting team from Niigita.

Perez won the scramble for possession inside the penalty area and kicked the ball in at the eighth minute to put the Saipan All-Stars on the board. The group went on to preserve the slim advantage at the break, as they foiled Japan Soccer College’s every attempt to equalize.

At the resumption of the match, Saipan All-Stars continued to be aggressive on offense and was rewarded with their persistence, thanks to Jambor’s conversion in the 55th minute. Jambor’s goal served as the insurance for Saipan All-Stars as 10 minutes later, Japan Soccer College scored off Sugawara shot.

Jambor and Perez were among the starters for the Saipan All-Stars, teaming up with CNMI coach Kiyoshi Sekiguchi, assistant coach Jersh Angeles, Gil Chong Koo, Jacky Lee, Peter Loken, Panapa Peteru, Dan Westphal, and goalie Clayton Izuka. Christopher Aninzo was the goalkeeper for the winning team in the second half, while Yong Ju Lee, Jun Sik Kim, Dino Chun, Cosmos Kim, Arkie Reusora, and Bada Lee were also on the roster.

The loss against Saipan All-Stars was Japan Soccer College’s second yesterday, as the latter also fell to fellow Japanese team Chuo University Country in the morning match.

Chuo drew back-to-back goals from Hiroki Ando in the second half and got one more from Kazuhiro Kawakame to gain cushion at halftime, 3-1. Ando’s brace came in the 18th and 22nd minute, while Kawakame lit up the board in the 25th.

Sugawara nailed the lone goal for Japan Soccer College in the first half (38th minute) and his team failed to pull off a come-from-behind win after making only one goal in the second game, courtesy off Kentero Tauchiya’s shot in the 74th minute.

Meanwhile, Chuo will play its second game on Saipan today when it challenges the CNMI Men’s National Team’s training pool at 4:30pm also at the Oleai pitch. The Blue Ayuyus will enter the game sporting a 0-2 record in the friendly matches this month. The Commonwealth bets bowed to Aries FC, 1-2, last Feb. 6 and then absorbed a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Japan Soccer College last Tuesday.

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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