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Matansa, Kanoa to face off in MSL 1 finals

Matansa Football Club and Kanoa FC are set to face off in the finals of the Marianas Soccer League 1 after they bested their foes in the semis last Sunday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

Matansa got the better of MP United in a thrilling shootout, 5-3, after a tied, 2-2 regulation.

They didn’t hold back their firepower as they ensured each PK found an opening past MPU’s goalie. MPU didn’t let up either and it was a close call until their last PK attempt by Leland Guerrero failed to find the back of the net.

Matansa’s Tanapon Unsa secured their first PK, while Mareko Tekopua, Sunjoon Tenorio, Joe Wang Miller, and Anthony Bergancia slotted the next four goals to claim a spot in the finals.

For MPU, Dev Bachani, Isiah Hossain, and Jireh Yobech scored the three PKs.

In regulation, Tenorio and Unsa led Matansa to an early 2-0 lead in the first half. But, MPU rallied and came up with better late than never goals in the 56th and 75th minute by Bachani and Hossain to tie it up, 2-2, and force a shootout.

In the Kanoa vs. Paire game, Kanoa won a lopsided 5-0 matchup.

Kanoa’s command of the ball remained consistent throughout and never faltered, while Paire had a difficult time traversing the pitch.

Kanoa had majority of the possession and in no time, Andruw Omelau broke the ice in the 10th minute to put them up, 1-0. Just four minutes later, Paul Lizama made it 2-nil. Paire couldn’t get over the roadblock and came out of the first half without a goal.

In the second half, Kanoa continued their hot streak and scored two back-to-back goals.

Omelau made it 3-0 in the 51st and was immediately followed up by Markus Toves. Kanoa’s fifth goal came by way of Toves once again in the 68th minute which eventually punched their ticket to the finals.

On Matansa with Unsa and Tenorio was Ariel Narvaez Jr., Saixian Bagsic, Jonne Navarro, Anthony Austria, Zhi Xiang Lin, John Masga, Akira Kadokura, John Masga, Brandon Tenorio, David Mafnas, Joe Miller, Mareko Tekopua, Jamin Elliot, Seho Baek, Raymond Mercado, and Dane Hodges.

With Omelau, Lizama, and Toves were Merrick Toves, Daniell Pablo, Brian Lubao, Andrew Sablan, Ruben Guerrero, Mark Chavez, Maximus Taitano, Tyler Omelau, Izeah Jolo, Vicente Reyes, John Quidato, Nolan Ngewakl, Adrian Lubao, Jim Maniago, Christian Negara, and Aloyzeus Angeles.

Catch the championship showdown this Sunday, May 26, at 6pm. The third-place game between Paire and MP United is right before at 4pm.

Published by Saipan tribune - May 21, 2024


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