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WITH just a little over a day of getting acclimated to the Beijing weather and training center pitch, Guam’s U14 Boys National team will play Hong Kong at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Beijing time (11:45 a.m. Guam time) in its first match of the 2012 AFC U14 Boys Festival of Football.
“The experience so far has been alright,” said Dylan Aguon, a newcomer to the traveling team, who also had never ridden an airplane before this trip. “It’s very cold and it’s hard to breathe, but we’re slowly getting used to it. I’m looking forward to playing a lot of different players from different countries.
“I heard that the Hong Kong team has accurate passes and some are really fast,” added Aguon, who played for the ASC Islanders during the recently concluded Cars Plus Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League.
Guam will play as many as three 30-minute festival-style matches in one day. After facing Hong Kong, Guam will take on Mongolia at 11:15 a.m. Beijing time (1:15 p.m. Guam time) and will later face the Northern Mariana Islands at 4:30 p.m. Beijing time (6:30 p.m. Guam time).
“We need to be prepared and give 100 percent every match,” said Tanner Kukes, one of Guam’s U14 goalkeepers who also traveled with the team last year. “There are some teams that aren’t as easy to compete against as they look. We can’t underestimate any team we are playing.
“I was hoping to play Japan again this year. We have a stronger team this year and I think we would’ve done better this time,” Kukes added.
Other teams Guam will face include both North Korea and South Korea. Based on the schedule of matches, Guam is not set to play against Japan, China or Macau in the festival.
(Information obtained from a press release.)