TanHoldings Football Club bagged two of the five division titles contested in the 4th President’s Cup held last Saturday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
TanHoldings first clinched the girls U17 age group crown after outclassing Southern United Football Club in a shootout, 3-2. MP United, Kanoa Football Club, and the Lady Bulldogs were the three other teams entered in the double-elimination tournament held to celebrate the birthday of Northern Mariana Islands Football Association president Jerry Tan.
Victories over the Lady Bulldogs and Southern United moved TanHoldings to the finals and the latter was also given a twice-to-beat advantage. Southern United, which topped Kanoa in its first game before bowing to TanHoldings, got another crack at the eventual champion, after winning over Kanoa anew. Then in their second meeting, Southern United prevailed, forcing TanHoldings to a shootout for the division title. TanHoldings ended up foiling Southern United’s upset bid in the decider to get the first championship at stake in the annual competition organized by Saipan Soccer Club.
TanHoldings then notched its second championship after the club’s co-ed U12A crew shut down Kanoa in the finals, 2-0.
Incidentally, TanHoldings-1 started its bid in the division with a win over Kanoa and the former advanced to the title game after beating Shirley’s Football Club. Kanoa, after dropping its opener, eliminated Shirley’s and TanHoldings-2, to challenge TanHoldings-1 again.
Matansa, Shirley’s, and MPU triumph
Meanwhile, the three other division titles went to Shirley’s, MPU United, and Matansa.
Shirley’s took the co-ed U8 age group crown after blanking Matansa in the finals, 3-0. Shirley’s also defeated MP United and Matansa in the preliminary games before dominating Matansa in the title game. Matansa marched into the finals after ousting TanHoldings.
In the co-ed U10 division, MP United lost to Paire in the battle for the first finals berth, but got back at its foe in the title match to clinch the age group crown. After falling to Paire, MP United faced and edged Shirley’s to earn the second finals berth.
In the co-ed U12B division, Matansa shut down Southern United in the finals, 2-0.
The champion teams were awarded with medals at the conclusion of the event that drew more than 200 participants.
“We always have a great turnout every time we hold the President’s Cup and that makes my birthday more special. Every year, I look forward to celebrating my birthday with a tournament like this, with kids coming together to play the sport we all love. Seeing the smiles on their faces and how they enjoy every game is their best gift for my birthday,” said Tan, who celebrated his birthday last Friday.