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Team NMI falls to Thailand, 11- 0

The NMI U17 Women’s National Team may have fallen to home team Thailand, 11-0, but their head coach is proud of their effort.

The 20-member team is competing in the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Group A with their first opponent being Thailand in Buriram City Stadium on Wednesday night.

The NMI team will then face off with Malaysia today, April 28.

Head coach Luem Khen Koo said that “Thailand is a great team. They are quick, they are more technical so it was hard for our team to adapt quickly.”

“However, collectively, our team did not give up. They all worked very hard. Having opportunities to play against international teams is what our program needs and our players to experience. Overall, [I am] very proud of our team.”

The team includes Mia Ysabela Abuan, Mariana Katherine Angeles, Stacy Lucille Arriola, Joselynn Larissa Atalig, Hailey Shae Benavente, Andrei Kaithlyn and Julie Anne Chavez, Anna Julia Dalusung, Megan Mae Elayda, Valerie Anne Estela, Azriel Fatialofa, Ella Ninjin Hall, Alana Hayes, Tamia Kileleman Hix, Vianca Mangulabnan, Cassie and Fiona Regan, and Jacqlene and Vaniqa Torres.

The officials following them on the trip are Koo, Jershwin Angeles and Lalaine Pagarao as assistant coaches, Jireh Yobech as the technical analyst, Mita Michiteru as the head of delegation, Hazel Mabasa as the team doctor, Catherine Attao as the team manager, and Yu Hung Lee as the assistant team manager.

Before their game against Thailand in a press conference, assistant coach Angeles said how the team has been preparing, “Unlike Thailand, we did not have a year to prepare, but we made sure the girls are coming into the tournament physically and mentally prepared because we are facing the tough teams in Asia.”

He added “Of course the girls are nervous as we have a very young team and most of our players will be away from our home country for the first time, so this is a very big challenge for them. However, we could see from our training yesterday (Monday) that they are adjusting well and they are ready for the first match.”

Published by Saipan Tribune - Apr 28 2023


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