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MINI MATAO DROPS FIRST TWO

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PRESS RELEASE – The Mini Matao, Guam’s U14 national soccer team, took a quick 1-0 lead early in the first half against Chinese Taipei, but later conceded five goals during the AFC U14 Championship Group G Qualifier in Beijing, China.

The Mini Matao, Guam's U14 Boys national team poses for a group photo. Pictured in the front row from left to right are: Sena Morimoto, Ryo Suzuki, GianCarlo Abril, Samuel Larkin, Jacob Herring and Takumi Odell. Pictured in the middle row from left to right are: Tyler Presto, Leon Morimoto, Vincent Cruz, Anthony Moon, Aidan Dickson and Rhys Paynter. Pictured in the back row from left to right are head coach Brett Maluwelmeng, Preston Boynton, An Truong, Xavier Naputi, Takumi Ito, Clayton Mitchell, Ethan Elwell and assistant coach Julius "J.R." Campos. Not pictured are Noah Jaye and assistant coach Francis "F.J." Chargualaf.  (courtesy photo)

The Mini Matao, Guam’s U14 Boys national team poses for a group photo. Pictured in the front row from left to right are: Sena Morimoto, Ryo Suzuki, GianCarlo Abril, Samuel Larkin, Jacob Herring and Takumi Odell. Pictured in the middle row from left to right are: Tyler Presto, Leon Morimoto, Vincent Cruz, Anthony Moon, Aidan Dickson and Rhys Paynter. Pictured in the back row from left to right are head coach Brett Maluwelmeng, Preston Boynton, An Truong, Xavier Naputi, Takumi Ito, Clayton Mitchell, Ethan Elwell and assistant coach Julius “J.R.” Campos. Not pictured are Noah Jaye and assistant coach Francis “F.J.” Chargualaf. (courtesy photo)

Guam’s Clayton Mitchell finished a counterattack play in the 11th minute, popping the ball over the Chinese Taipei goalkeeper who was drawn out on the initial lobbed through ball, said Brett Maluwelmeng, Mini Matao head coach, through E-mail from China.

Tzu-Ming Huang later equalized the game in the 15th minutes and Po-Yu Chen added another goal for Chinese Taipei in the 17th minute for the 2-1 halftime score.

Guam’s Xavier Naputi and An Truong each had scoring chances in the second half, but were unable to finish their shots, Maluwelmeng said. Sung-Fang Tsai scored twice in the half and teammate Wen-Yen Chin also scored for the final tally.

The match commissioner and opposing head coach regarded Mitchell as the best player on the field, Maluwelmeng said. Maluwelmeng also added that Preston Boynton and captain Jacob Herring anchored Guam’s defense well.

In the Mini Matao’s next match the following day, the team faced one of the top two contenders in the tournament, Korea Republic. The team managed to improve from last year’s U14 team’s showing, conceding two less goals in the hour-long 8-0 match.

The Mini Matao next play China, P.R. Tuesday at 2 p.m. Beijing time. China, P.R. had earlier defeated Chinese Taipei 5-0. The Mini Matao’s final match will be against the Northern Mariana Islands Thursday, 2 p.m. Beijing time. The Northern Mariana Islands dropped their first match against Korea Republic on opening day of the qualifier.

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