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MATAO SHUTS DOWN CAMBODIA

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The Matao's Shawn Nicklaw gets a go to the goal after outpacing Cambodia defender Rous Samoeun during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao’s Shawn Nicklaw gets a go to the goal after outpacing Cambodia defender Rous Samoeun during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

PRESS RELEASE – The Matao’s combination of high intensity and smart football style of play has continued to stymie its Southeast Asian tour opponents, with Cambodia as the latest victim in a 2-0 shut out at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday.

With the win, Guam has made history again by going undefeated in three-straight international matches this year, solidifying an immensely improved national program implemented just over a year ago.

“I think when the senior men’s national team wins, the tremor goes right down to the youth national teams, the National Academy, and the youth league too,” said Matao head coach Gary White. “It gives everybody a boost to work harder. Coming off this tour undefeated, I think it really shows the potential the program has. Now it’s a question of how to continue building on that, to keep moving forward, and getting more games.

“We’re now seeing the fruits of all the continued support we’ve been getting from Guam Football Association President Richard Lai and all the GFA executives back home,” White added.

With tough, uneven terrain conditions, the Matao trusted its long passes and aerial attack more against the scrappy Cambodia team. Ryan Guy scored his first international goal for Guam in the 18th minute after finishing a play initiated by right back Jonahan Romero. Romero’s pass into the box was deflected to Shawn Nicklaw, who sent the ball back into the box for Guy’s header past Cambodia keeper Sou Yaty.

The Matao's Dylan Naputi breaks through the last line of Cambodia defenders during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao’s Dylan Naputi breaks through the last line of Cambodia defenders during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

“I think the goal was the spark that we needed at that point in the game – it gave us the confidence to go on and finish the game strong,” Guy said after the match. “This was a must-win for us. We really needed to assert ourselves in this game and show that we deserve to be where we’re at now.”

With Guam’s 1-0 lead at halftime, Cambodia deployed forward Chhunly Pagenburg, a German national with Cambodian roots, in his first appearance for the host country in an international match. Pagenburg, who plays for FSV Frankfurt, a second tier Bundesliga team in Germany, aided Cambodia slightly, but could not find a solution to Guam’s organized defensive line in the second half.

Guam’s lead later doubled in the 68th minute when Matao captain Jason Cunliffe exploited an open channel on the left flank and sent in a shot that was misplayed by defender Sok Sovan.

“This is a big step for us – it’s the first time in GFA history for our men’s program that we’ve gone undefeated in three straight matches,” Cunliffe said. “It’s a great feeling and I think it’s going to do wonders for our team.

“Now we’re just full of confidence and we look to build on that, move forward and get results,” Cunliffe added.

White was able to give playing minutes to all of Guam’s substitute players in the uneven match, including second goalkeeper Bijan Gloston. The Cambodia match was the final stop in the Matao’s Southeast Asian tour, which also included a 1-1 draw with Laos. Guam’s undefeated streak dates back to March 6 during the AFC Challenge Cup Group A Qualifier in Yangon, Myanmar, with the team’s first-ever win over Chinese Taipei.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

The Matao's Ian Adamos looks to pass the ball as Cambodia defenders Tieng Tiny (19) and Prak Mony Udom (7) begin to converge on him during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao’s Ian Adamos looks to pass the ball as Cambodia defenders Tieng Tiny (19) and Prak Mony Udom (7) begin to converge on him during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

Cambodia's Rous Samoeun attempts to pull down the Matao's John Matkin after Matkin burned him down the right flank during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

Cambodia’s Rous Samoeun attempts to pull down the Matao’s John Matkin after Matkin burned him down the right flank during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao's Jason Cunliffe controls the ball in the midst of a trio of Cambodia defenders during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao’s Jason Cunliffe controls the ball in the midst of a trio of Cambodia defenders during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao's Ryan Guy maneuvers around Cambodia's Touch Pancharong during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

The Matao’s Ryan Guy maneuvers around Cambodia’s Touch Pancharong during a FIFA international friendly match at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh Tuesday. Guam shut out Cambodia 2-0 in the contest. (courtesy photo)

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