The EAFF E-1 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 ROUND 1 GUAM Men’s second game saw Chinese Taipei defeating the representative from the Northern Mariana Islands with an 8-1 score.
Chinese Taipei enjoyed more possession in the opening minutes of the match, but the Northern Mariana Island team seemed well balanced and defended tightly without conceding any major chance.
Goalkeeper and captain Johann Noetzel frustrated the early efforts of the Chinese Taipei players, supported by what seemed a solid defensive line.
Northern Mariana Islands could have even taken the lead in the 27th minute, when Michah Griffin brilliantly outmuscled the Taipei defenders; however, his shot was straight at goalkeeper Ting-Yang Chen.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 30th minute, when a quick combination ignited Ho-Shen Yen, who deep into the penalty area squared in a pass that Chun-Ching Wu only had to push into the goal for Chinese Taipei’s opener.
In the 37th minute, Wei-Chuan Chen unleashed an unstoppable shot from just outside the box that flew straight into the goal, and only three minutes later, Chinese Taipei made it three, with Chieh-Hsun Lin easily dispatching the ball in the back of the net as he was left free to aim and shoot in the middle of the penalty area.
The fourth goal came in additional time, with a header by Yi-Wei Chen, and only a minute later the Northern Mariana Islands found themselves down to ten players, as Joe Miller was shown a second yellow card.
With eleven players versus ten in the second half it was easy for Chinese Taipei to add four goals, three more coming from Chieh-Hsun Lin and one from Chun-Ching Wu.
The Northern Mariana Islands however had their consolation goal through a header by Kirk Schuler one minute into additional time.
Chinese Taipei - Chieh-Hsun Lin(#8, scored four goals)
“We were in control for most of the game, but we have never played against the Northern Mariana Islands, so it took us a bit to figure out their football and how they defend.
“It was the first time I scored four goals in an official game, but it is not so important, it was thanks to good teamwork. The fact that the next round is in Taipei is an incentive, but in the end what matters the most is that we want to win every game.”
Chinese Taipei - Toshiaki Imai(coach)
“The large victory today is also due to the fact that the opponents were reduced to ten players, and I think my team can actually do better
“We could not get into a rhythm, and the Northern Mariana Islands’ goalkeeper made some very good saves. We should have scored earlier, to make our life easier. Matches change a lot after the first goal is scored, and after we got ours we became confident and played much better.
“The next match is versus Mongolia, who unlike us can practice only half of the year because of their harsh weather. I hope we can make good use of this advantage.”
Northern Mariana Islands - Johann Noetzel(#1, captain)
“The game didn’t go as we expected, especially being one man down and the forced substitutions because of injuries. In the beginning we were capable to maintain our shape, and we did well, but then we paid the lack of experience in some of the young players. It is normal, we will need some more matches to improve.
“We’re not here to lose, anyway. We will come out in the next two games to fight and win.”
Northern Mariana Islands - Kiyoshi Sekiguchi(coach)
“We knew that there is a difference in quality between us and today’s opposition, but I regret that on top of that our condition wasn’t good and we had a few injuries.
“We still lack stamina and quality, however we scored one goal at the end. There is quite a difference between scoring none and scoring at least one, so I hope this will help us to gain confidence towards the next games. We are challengers, but we will give our 100% to get victories.”
By Cesare Polenghi (twitter