The Guam Football Association facility in Harmon was quite busy this past Saturday as three local youth soccer teams and teams from the Philippines hit the pitch for friendship action in the 2012 Pacific Asia Youth Invitational.
With the U12 and U14 divisions playing four games apiece, everyone in attendance was guaranteed to get their share of soccer excitement. At the end of the day, it was a near-sweep for the Philippines as they garnered victories in all but one of their matches.
“In terms of skill, the kids here in Guam are not that far behind,” said Philippines Coach Christopher Datu. Datu plays goalkeeper for the Diliman Football Club, a second division team in the United Football League. “They are about par to our teams in the Philippines.”
Playing their second match of the day, Guam's Wings FC took on the visiting Philippines team in U14 action. Despite putting on a very good showing, the Wings ran into some difficulty finding answers for their opponents and would succumb to 5-2 defeat. Matthew Ozil was credited with finding the back of the net twice in the game, while teammates Mauro Acot, Kevin Bartolome, and Louie Dale added one goal apiece.
In another U14 match, the Sidekicks' Dalton Kinney prevented a win and a sweep for the Philippines after scoring a goal in the final minute of play.
Holding on to a 3-2 lead after the opening half, Philippines nearly secured a victory before Kinney's shot.
Older sister Kayla Kinney broke the scoring ice for the Sidekicks in the first half and Vincent Cruz added another before the halftime whistle. The Philippines' Isaac Dale scored twice and teammate Matthew Ozil added a goal to his team's tally in the first half.
“The goalkeepers are quite good, especially the one from the Sidekicks, the team that we drew 3-3 in the U14 division,” Datu added, speaking about the Sidekicks' Jerome Artero.
The final U14 game of the day pitted two Guam soccer clubs squaring off against one another. The Sidekicks continued their momentum from earlier on the day. However, this time they picked up a 5-0 shutout victory over the Strykers. Kayla Kinney struck twice for her team and teammates Dalton Kinney, Vincent Cruz and Giancarlo Tenorio each scored once.
Philippines sweep U12 division
In the U12 division, the Philippines' Randy Raz and Fidel Tacardon combined for 11 goals in two games. Raz scored once and Tacardon twice in the Philippines’ 4-1 win over the Wings in their morning match.
Later on the day, Raz netted five goals and Tacardon had a hat trick in his team's 11-3 win over the Strykers. Karl Bugayong scored the Philippines' other goal against the Wings, while Preston Boynton scored the Wings' lone goal. Bugayong, Nigel Buan, Sam Unabia also scored in the Philippines’ win over the Strykers. Chad Ishizu, Leon Morimoto and Rhys Paynter scored for the Strykers.
In other U12 games, the Strykers defeated the ASC Islanders 4-0 and later, the Wings recorded a 6-0 win over the ASC Islanders.
Pacific Asia Youth Invitational championship games are scheduled for later today with the U12 game at 3 p.m. and the U14 at 4:30 p.m.