Twin wins for All Blue; Kanoa bounces back


A Kanoa Football Club player kicks the ball during their season debut game against Shirley’s Football Club in the Division B of the 2019 Spring Men’s M-League at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. Kanoa lost to Shirley’s, but recovered quickly after beating Matansa last Sunday. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

All Blue swept its first two games in Division A of the 2019 Spring Men’s M-League, while Kanoa Football Club recovered from its season debut loss last Sunday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

All Blue, which is bannered by members of the CNMI Men’s U19 National Team, won its first game of the season last Thursday after outclassing Paire Football Club, 4-2. John Michael Rojas knocked in a pair of goals for All Blue, while Sebastien Manabat added one.

Rojas scored right in the second minute of the first half and All Blue hung on to the slim lead at the break.

Paire then equalized in the 53rd minute off Jireh Yobech’s goal before All Blue got the lead back, thanks to Manabat’s shot in the 59th minute. The match was tied anew in the 68th minute after Alan Gudino’s conversion, while Rojas quickly broke the deadlock with his second goal in the 69th. An own goal charged against Paire in the 74th minute gave All Blue cushion and the latter shut down the former the rest of the way for a winning debut.

Three days after beating Paire, All Blue returned to the pitch and this time eased past TanHoldings last Sunday, 3-0.

All Blue also got an own goal in their game against TanHoldings, while Joshua De Leon delivered a pair for the early leader in Division A.

Paire also played last Sunday and dominated Korean Football Association on Saipan, 9-2. Ajani Burrell and Samuel Smith scored two goals apiece for Paire, while Brad Ruszala, Trey Dunn, Yoji Singh, Qiwai Wang, and Danny Agulto contributed one apiece.

Junsik Kim and Hwapyoung Kim posted the two goals for KFAS.

Meanwhile, Kanoa also battled back from its season debut defeat after edging Matansa, 3-2, in the Division B match last weekend.

It was a come-from-behind win for Kanoa, as it faced a 0-2 deficit at halftime. Gabriel Arkoh, Jr., and Amzad Khan scored in the fifth and 37th minute to hand Matansa the lead at the break.

When the game resumed, Matansa lost the upper hand, as Kanoa, which bowed to Shirley’s FC in the opening week, rallied behind the two goals of Ian Maniago and Davy Laxa. Laxa hit the board in the 54th minute, while Maniago’s equalizer came in the 71st and the go-ahead was recorded four minutes later.

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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