Shirley’s Football Club cruised to the title game in the Division B of the 2019 Spring Men’s M-League after dominating the CNMI Women’s National Team in the semis, 6-1, last Sunday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
Shirley’s will play in the May 19 finals against the winner in the other semis match between Sun Palace and Pacific Islands Club. The remaining semifinals game was originally set for last weekend, but is re-scheduled for tonight due to the unavailability of referees.
While Sun Palace and PIC have to wait for a few more days to determine their fate this season, Shirley’s moved a win away from clinching the division crown after easing past the WNT.
Four different players delivered in Shirley’s’ semis victory. Hojin Woo was one of them, as he knocked in the first and last goals for the winning squad, scoring in the 10th and 78th minute. Hoin Ryu duplicated Woo’s feat, as the former found his target in the 47th and 62nd minute, allowing Shirley’s to break the game wide open after clinging to a 2-1 lead halftime lead.
The WNT was in contention in the first half, as it stunned the favored Shirley’s by drawing first blood off Britany Wally’s goal in the eighth minute. However, Shirley’s quickly countered off Woo’s shot, while Heng Guo Piao put the team on top with his goal in the 25th minute.
Shirley’s went on to widen the gap in the second half behind Ryu’s pair of goals, while James Yan also contributed to the win with his conversion in the 46th minute.
Old B Bank 7, KFAS 2
The Old B Bank notched the second semis ticket in Division A after ousting Korean Football Association on Saipan last Thursday.
Hwapyoung Kim powered the Old B Bank past KFAS after firing five goals. He teamed up with Michiteru Mita in crushing the hapless KFAS as the CNMI Men’s National Team head coach chipped in two goals.
KFAS got its pair of goals from Juan Oh and Junsik Kim.
After eliminating KFAS, the Old B Bank will next face Paire Football Club this Sunday at 3pm for a slot in the division finals.
Paire 6, Matansa 0
Paire advanced to the semis after a similar easy victory against Matansa last Sunday.
Daniel Agulto and Matt Epstein handed Paire two goals apiece, while Ajani Burell contributed one goal. Paire got an own goal off an error from Matansa’s Gabriel Arkoh.
Though it cruised past Matansa, Paire started slow, as it took them more than 20 minutes before getting into the board. Burrell broke the dry spell in the 24th minute, while Agulto scored the second goal four minutes later. Paire kept going in the second half, while Matansa remained cold, as it finished the season without a single win.
TanHoldings 12, Kanoa 1
In the other game in the division last Sunday, TanHoldings clobbered Kanoa to arrange a semis duel with the unbeaten CNMI Boys U18 National Team.
Mark Esalan starred in TanHoldings’ lopsided win after registering five goals. Martin Jambor returned from a long layoff (due to injury) and contributed to the victory, making a hat trick. Louie Calayag, Em-manuel Aniana, and guest players Lucas and Andres Aldeguer were the other scorers for TanHoldings, while Raymond Zapanta logged Kanoa’s lone goal.
TanHoldings will battle the undefeated CNMI Boys U18 this Sunday at 5pm for the second finals ticket in the division. The CNMI Boys U18 gained an outright semis slot after topping the regular season with its 6-0-0 win-draw-loss record.