Schuler scores in CNMI loss to Chinese-Taipei


Reliever Kirk Schuler saved the CNMI Men’s National Team from a shutout loss to Chinese-Taipei after scoring in the second half of the lopsided match in the EAFF E-1 Football Championships 2017 Round 1 yesterday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo.

Schuler, who came to play early in the final half, scored off a header in the 90th minute from Joel Fruit’s free kick and his goal came after Chinese-Taipei opened a 7-0 advantage. The Taiwanese went on to take an 8-1 victory as Chieh-Hsun Lin found the back of the net two minutes after Schuler put the CNMI on the board.

It was Lin’s third straight goal in the second half with his first two recorded in the 63rd and 81st minute. The Chinese-Taipei’s starting midfielder had a total of four goals as he knocked in one in the 40th minute.

Before Chinese-Taipei’s goals rush, the CNMI managed to hold its ground on defense in the majority of the first half as the former registered its first goal in the 30th minute off forward Chun-Ching Wu’s shot. Six minutes later, defender Wei-Chuan Chen made it a 2-0 lead, while Lin earned his first goal before another defender, Yi-Wei Chen, closed out for the Taiwanese in the last minute of the opening half for their promising 4-0 advantage.

Chinese-Taipei broke away further in the second half with Lin’s string of goals and another one from Wu (56th minute).

With the loss, the CNMI is pressured to win its last two games—against Macau on Saturday and versus Mongolia on Monday—to stay in contention. Only the top finisher in the four-nation tournament will advance to Round 2, which will be played in November this year.

Macau and Mongolia had their first game last Wednesday and their duel ended in a 2-2 draw. Bayarjargal Oyunbat scored a pair of goals for Mongolia, while Macau drew one goal each from Ka Hang Leong and Filipe Miguel Cordeiro Duarte.

In its debut last night, the Blue Ayuyus had Fruit, goalkeeper Johan Noetzel, Clayton Izuka, Trey Dunn, Enrico Del Rosario, Jehn Joyner, Jonathan Takano, Peter Loken, Joe Miller, and Michah Griffin as starters. Completing the team are Darin Kaizer, Hunter Jewell, Evan Belcher, Alan Hinson, James Ermitanio, and Chris Aninzo.

Women’s team debuts vs Macau today
The CNMI Women’s National Team will play its first match today against Macau.

Game time is at 5pm.

The Luem Khen Koo-coached squad arrived in Guam last Tuesday and had a chance to practice for a couple of days and watch Macau’s first game against Guam.

“The women’s team had settled down in Guam and we watched the Macau-Guam game. We want to see our competition and understand what we’re up against,” team manager Angie Ito said.

The Commonwealth women’s crew is composed of team captain Gabrielle Race, Alexa Vergara, Chevy Kate Alipio, Elaine Enriquez, Sarah Allen, Bernadette Horey, Jeralyn and Jeraldine Castillo, Lyka Sally, Mikky Vargas, Guinevere Borja, Chloe Salvosa, Dianne Pablo, Gillian Villagomez, De Jan Muna, Krizzel Mae Tuason, Carl Mae Ballesteros, and Taylor Knecht.

The group will be facing a Macau side that is reeling from a 0-5 loss to the host country.

Four different players scored in Guam’s shutout win over the former Portuguese territory. Skyylerblu Johnson opened things up for the home team with her goal in the 12th minute, while Samantha Kaufman and Paige Surber hit the board in the 18th and 22nd minute, respectively. Anjelica Claire Perez and Kaufman scored the last two goals for Guam with the former finding her target in the 42nd and the latter getting her second in the 48th.

The CNMI will meet Guam this Sunday.

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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