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MATAO AND ARUBA PLAY TO A DRAW

Guam’s Matao fútbol team played to a draw against Aruba who is currently ranked #162 in the FIFA world standings. Guam is currently ranked #173 out of 207.

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PRESS RELEASE – Football fans around the world added to thousands present at the Complejo Deportivo Guillermo Prospero Trinidad that tuned in through an Internet live stream to watch Guam’s Matao use its dominating style of play against Aruba Thursday evening Aruba time.

The Matao, still adjusting to extremely windy conditions since the team’s arrival into Aruba, led 2-1 into the final minute of the match, but conceded a controversial penalty kick in the 90+ minute for the final 2-2 draw.

“I hope our younger players learn from this sting and further develop their ability to control and manage the game,” said Gary White, Matao head coach, after the match. “The reality is, in our game, lapses of understanding and focus can bring results that do not reflect the differences in quality on the field from 90 minutes.

“We played to our plan, possessed the ball well, and dominated much of the game as the possession statistics will show. Our second-half performance was our best yet under me in terms of movement and structure. I am very happy to see how much we are developing,” White added.

After Aruba’s Raymond Baten scored the match’s lone first-half goal in the third minute off a free kick, Guam turned up the heat in the second half. In the 65th minute, a series of good attacking combination plays by the Matao resulted in an obvious hand ball violation by Aruba in the box, awarding a penalty kick to Guam converted by captain Jason Cunliffe. A little over 10 minutes later, Cunliffe’s bicycle kick for goal put Guam up 2-1 up until the final seconds of the match. Aruba’s Annuar Kock was credited with the late equalizer with his successful penalty kick.

“Obviously, we will look to push for a win (in our next match against Aruba),” White said. “We will also utilize the next game to further analyze and evaluate some new and young players as we prepare for the EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary competition in July. We should see players working hard to impress in order to break into the squad for July’s tournament in Guam.”

Guam’s next match against Aruba will be played at 8 p.m. Aruba time Sunday. The match will be streamed live on the Internet at 10 a.m. Guam time Monday on Arubaanse Voetbal Bond’s pay-per-view channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/avb-aruba-live

AFC Jason Cunliffe

AFC Jason Cunliffe

AFC MNTO Gary White

AFC MNTO Gary White

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