Sun Palace, Tan Holdings triumph


Sun Palace’s En San Cui, left, steps into the play to battle a Kanoa FC player for possession during the first half of their Division 2 game in the M-League last Sunday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Sun Palace and Tan Holdings claimed the spring championships in the 2016 M-League.

Sun Palace ruled Division 2 after posting a field-best 8-1-1 win-draw-loss record. Sun Palace capped the season with a 4-1 victory over Kanoa FC last Sunday at the Oleai Sports Complex. Kanoa finished third in the double-round robin contest with its 4-2-4 slate behind runner-up Shirley’s FC (5-2-3) and ahead of World Resort (4-2-4), Thundercats (2-4-4), and the CNMI Women’s National Team (1-1-6).

Sun Palace’s last four goals came after Kanoa drew first blood off Ronel Ocanada’s shot in the 19th minute. Feng Chun Jin equalized for Sun Palace in the 27th, while a goal from Sang Ho Choi 11 minutes later put the eventual division champion on top. Jun Sik and Cosmos Kim delivered then delivered the killer blows for Sun Palace after they scored in the 47th and 49th minute, respectively.

In Division 1, Tan Holdings defeated MP United, 3-1, to complete the spring season with a 6-1-1 record, three wins ahead of Paire/Inter Godfather’s (3-3-3). Korean Football Association on Saipan also had a 3-3-3 mark, but dropped to third as Paire/Inter had more goals, 21-15, while MP United (2-3-2) and Matansa (0-0-7) rounded out the field.

Tan Holdings registered its first two goals against MP United off penalty kicks from Tadaomi Yasuda in the 33rd minute and Genki Sato in the 41st. Yasuda also made Tan Holdings’ last goal as he found his target in the 53rd, while MP United’s lone goal was courtesy of CNMI head coach Kiyoshi Sekiguchi.

In the other Division 1 game last weekend, Paire and KFAS settled for the scoreless draw.

FA Challenge Cup tomorrow
Meanwhile, Northern Mariana Islands Football Association will hold the 2016 FA Boys and Girls Challenge Cup tomorrow at the Hopwood Junior High School Field.

The one-day tournament is for teams in the girls U15 and U12 co-ed age groups with a single-elimination format and the 10 squads are divided into two groups.

On the east group, MPU girls U15 will take on MPU U12-coed B at 9am at Pitch 2 with the winner advancing against Kanoa girls U15 at 11am. The other pairing on the east side will have girls U15 champion Shirley’s battling Paire girls U15 at 10am. The team left standing on the east group will advance to the finals against the top finisher of the west group. The title match is set for 3:30pm.

For the west side, Shirley’s co-ed U12 will meet Tan Holdings co-ed U12 with the victor challenging Kanoa co-ed U12 for a semis berth. MPU co-ed U12 A and Paire U12 co-ed will collide for the other semis berth on the west group.

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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