Marianas Variety

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    Monday, December 9, 2019-12:04:04P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Cambodia shuts down NMI 9-0

AFTER their great opening day performance, losing by only a point against Brunei Darussalam, the NMI Boys U19 National Team on Monday faced host Cambodia which promptly handed the Northern Marianas its second loss in the AFC U19 Championship 2020 Qualifiers which are being held in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia.

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The NMI Boys U19 pose for a photo before their game against Cambodia in the AFC U19 Championship 2020 Qualifiers in Cambodia.  Football Federation of Cambodia photo

Cambodia simply overpowered the NMI, 9-0.

“It was a tough evening based on the score line,” NMI coach Ruselle Zapanta said in an email. “The boys played hard though we feel they could have pushed a bit more. But they were able to compete with tougher opponents and the team performance shows. The days of ‘parking the bus’ is no longer a thought as the NMI players try to develop their own style of play and compete internationally.”

The opening goal was made at the seven-minute mark by Cambodia’s Thy Leing. That was just the start as Cambodia’s continuous pressure led to five more goals before the end of the first half. Even with the NMI players tightening their defense and reducing Cambodia’s output, the home team scored three more goals for a 9-0 victory.

“The majority of the match went well for our team as they tried to execute the game plan,” Zapanta said. “But when mistakes were made, we were punished and gave up goals we otherwise should not concede. Despite the loss, our heads were kept high. Not much to frown upon as the team continues to improve. We are trying to stay healthy and fit as much as possible to overcome the challenging schedule. No one has gotten sick yet, but we’ve had one cramp during the matches and training sessions and a few battle wounds but otherwise the team is great.”

NMI’s next match is against another tough opponent, Thailand.