Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 12am

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    Tuesday, October 17, 2017-6:51:42A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Maniago makes historic goal for NMI U16

THE NMI U16 National Team lost in all four matches in the Asian Football Confederation U16 Boy’s Championship 2018 Qualifiers, but Ian Maniago made history by hitting their first goal against their final opponents, Timor-Leste.

“History made for NMI. Thank you all for the massive amount of support. We are proud of all the boys and their accomplishments,” shared Rodwealth Espana via email.

Click to enlarge
The NMI U16 Boys National Team poses before their game against Thailand in the AFC U16 Boy’s Championship 2018 Qualifiers at Bangkok, Thailand.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

“We’ve worked very hard and even though the competition is much tougher, our boys were able to challenge it head on. The boys played with their hearts and gave everything for the team. This competition is a very good learning experience and will now give the boys an idea as to how soccer outside of the NMI is,” he added.

NMI played a great first half. Even though Timor-Leste managed to squeeze in their first goal just eight minutes into the game, NMI protected their territory well enough to hold them down to just three goals.

Timor-Leste picked up the pace during the second half with a barrage of goals pushing a comfortable lead. Paulo Freitas and Searfin Brito caught on fire shooting two goals each under the 60th minute.

Even with the overwhelming control by Timor-Leste, NMI never gave up. Their efforts were finally awarded at the 70th mark when Maniago rushed to catch the long pass deep within enemy territory and rushed to send the ball flying before Timor-Leste’s goalie could dive in for the block hitting the back of the net for NMI’s first goal of the entire competition.

“Ian was in tears after scoring a beautiful goal,” Jersh Angeles said.

NMI did lose to Timor-Leste 11-1 but they were satisfied with their performance as they made history.

“The boys played with their hearts and gave everything for the team,” Espana said.

“This competition is a very good learning experience and will now give the boys an idea as to how soccer outside of the NMI is. It is a very tough sport and I and the staff would just like to thank everyone who contributed to the team. We are all happy that we got to experience this as a team. I would like to add that this is not over yet. The boys will still have competition and according to the coaches, we’re already preparing for the under 19 tournament,” he added.