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MATAO BLANKS MACAU 3-0

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The Matao’s Scott Leon Guerrero leaps for a header to clear the ball above Macau’s Chan Kin Seng during a match of the Philippines Football Peace Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines. Guam defeated Macau 3-0. (courtesy photo)

PRESS RELEASE – The Matao’s attacking strategy just continues to baffle Macau.

With Macau unable to find an answer to Guam’s speed and physicality, the Matao proceeded to steamroll over its Macanese opponents 3-0 Saturday in the Philippines Football Peace Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. The win marks the Matao’s second shut-out win over Macau in two months and solidified Guam’s second-runner up finish in the inaugural Peace Cup tournament.

“Scoring the game’s second goal early in the second half helped the team feel more comfortable playing our style and our formation,” said Marcus Lopez, who was credited with the game’s first two goals. “It made it easier to defend our style of play.

“I’m just really happy that Guam is moving up and getting to play at new, higher levels,” Lopez added.

Lopez was credited with a deflection for goal following a Zachary Deville shot late in the first half for the 1-0 advantage going into halftime. The duo was at it again in the early in the second half, this time with Lopez connecting on a cross from Deville by heading the ball in past Macau’s keeper Ho Man Fai.

Dylan Naputi scored the Matao’s other goal in second-half injury time after connecting on a loose ball following an Ian Adamos header. Adamos’ header looped over teammate Ryan Guy and bounced up at the right place for Naputi, who headed the ball in for the team’s final score.

“We played against Guam before in the East Asian Football Championship preliminary round, so we knew their playing style,” said Macau head coach Leung Sui Wing through an interpreter. “Guam is very strong physically and we had a plan to counter that. Most of the younger players on our team just couldn’t apply what we did in training against the Guam team.”

The Matao’s Reyn Johnson keeps control of the ball against Macau’s Choi Chan In during a match of the Philippines Football Peace Cup. (courtesy photo)

Both Lopez and Deville have proven to be a nightmare for Macau. Between the two of them, they have scored four goals against Macau in just two months. Lopez and Deville each scored once against Macau during the East Asian Football Championship held in Guam in July. Deville, in particular, assisted three goals in two matches. Guam defeated Macau 3-0 during the preliminary competition of the EAFF tournament.

For 17-year-old Naputi, his goal against Macau is only his second international goal. He scored his first international goal during the 2011 Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia against American Samoa. Guam ended up defeating American Samoa 2-0.

The Matao will take about a week off upon the team’s return to Guam. After the short break, the team will return to training for the semifinal round of the East Asian Football Championship in Hong Kong in December. In the EAFF tournament, Guam will face Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, North Korea and Australia in hopes of qualifying for the final round against China, Korea Republic and Japan.

In the Peace Cup’s other game, the Philippines claimed the championship trophy after dropping Chinese Taipei 3-1 with goals from Denis Wolf, Chieffy Caligdong and OJ Porteria.

The Matao’s Marcus Lopez connects on a header from a corner kick. The goal
was later rescinded because of a pushing foul. Lopez scored twice in Guam’s 3-0 win over Macau. (courtesy photo)

Teams participating in the tournament received its awards in a closing ceremony following the Azkals-Chinese Taipei match. The Philippines swept the various categories, including the Golden Boot award that went to Wolf and the Best Goalkeeper award, which went to Edward Sacapaño. Guam received a trophy cup for its second runner up finish.

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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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