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ISLANDERS TRIP UP TUNINOS 2-1 IN TIGHT MATCH

Top-ranked JFK hold off feisty Southern squad in ISA boys soccer

By Eriele Salas

The John F. Kennedy Islanders took home another anticipated win over the Southern Tuninos 2-1 Monday night at the George Washington soccer field. Both teams have met in the ISA Boys Soccer League championship match the last two years and both times the Islanders have come away the champions.

Wendy’s Player of the Game Alesana Jorlang scored both goals for the Islanders

JFK striker Alesana Jorlang scored both goals for the Islanders in the 11’ and 70’ minutes.

First Half 

The Islanders brought home an ISA championship the past three seasons, and it’s no doubt that they have another chance at bringing home another trophy this year with the rate they’re playing at.

Although the Tuninos kept the Islanders on defense for the majority of the match, this didn’t put much pressure on JFK, as Jorlang scored the first goals in the 11th minute of the game. 

“I want us (the Islanders) to keep grinding, to score, and to strike all the way through.”

– JFK striker Alesana Jorlang

JFK’s Landen Cruz had some good shots on goal, but Southern’s goalkeeper Ezrah Acovera intercepted those shots. 

While the Tuninos had possession of the ball, the Islanders had a strong defensive line to prevent them from securing a win. JFK’s co-captain Tom Almoite and Kohen Diego held down the line on the right side of the field to guard Southern’s captain Landon Castro and Cody Pangelinan from scoring on them. 

The Tuninos were given an advantage with a free kick from Ethan Rioja, but he was unsuccessful as Islander Ethan Tainatongo obstructed it from the net. JFK’s Javier Cruz and Cj Sablan were instrumental in the midfield, looking for each other and other open teammates to pass. However, Southern’s Zaiah Santos, Jaylon Sanchez, and Jahaziah Cruz were looking effortlessly swift on defense. 

In the last minute of the first half, Tuninos captain Castro managed to pull through to tie the game with the Islanders. At this point, anyone could have taken the win home. 

Second Half

Both teams came in after a well-deserved 15-minute break, still strong and still determined to keep fighting until the last whistle. 

Southern needed to be logical on defense, as they gave JFK quite a few chances to score on the corner kicks. One shot from Islander’s Sablan was nearing the net, but again, the Tuninos’ defense didn’t break. Southern’s Pangelinan had a chance to score on a free kick, but JFK stayed aggressive on defense and it kept the Tuninos from scoring anymore on them. 

Both teams had their fair share of almost finding the net, but the goalkeepers from both sides of the field were just as hostile in keeping the ball out of their territory. The Tuninos got unlucky near the end of the game, as Jorlang fought his way to the goal in order to break the tie between them in the 70th minute.

JFK goalie Leeland Reyes had huge saves down the stretch, especially a brilliant save in the 78th minute that kept the Islanders ahead. Reyes finished with eight saves.

JFK’s Jorlang is confident in his team and believes they can bring home another championship as long as they work on their passes and communication, and most importantly, if they keep grinding. 

The Islanders will be taking on the GW Geckos this Thursday on the JFK field at 4:15 p.m. The Tuninos will be challenging the Simon Sanchez Sharks the following day on the JFK field at the same time. 

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy with Southern’s usual speed and aggression on the field,” JFK head coach Lad Manansala said. “We just found the gap in the end and caught them off balance on defense. Our goalkeeper stepped up today and made some key saves.”

Nightcap

In the second game of the day, the GW Geckos wiped out the Tiyan Titans 8-1. Jong Kim, Michael Davis and Myliz Aquino all had two goals for the Geckos. Blake Flory had Tiyan’s lone goal.

ISA BOYS SOCCER STANDINGS

GW 2-0-1

JFK 2-0-0

Sanchez 1-0-1

Southern 1-2-0

Okkodo 0-1-0

Tiyan 0-3-0

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