Guam – Despite confusion early on in the game regarding tournament rules and high emotions throughout a close, but rough game, the Sidekicks were able to prevail over their Philippine U14 counterparts 2-1 in the championship game of the Pacific Asia Youth Invitational soccer tournament at the Guam Football Association facility in Harmon Monday.
With only seven minutes left to play in the game, Kayla Kinney scored the first goal of the game after a Vincent Cruz forward pass drew the Philippines’ goalkeeper out of the goal box. In desperation, the Philippines’ Justin Garcia rushed to the goal in an attempt to block the shot, but was too late. Garcia injured himself in the play.
“I really didn’t remember until the end of the game because that boy got hurt right after,” said Kinney, who earned five goals to her credit during the three-day tournament. “It felt great realizing I scored the first goal when my teammates reminded me after the game.
“It was a good game. I believe that it really was through teamwork that we were able to win in the end,” added the incoming Guam High School freshman.
[ The Philippines’ Karl Bugayong keeps pace with the Wings’ Masaki Spence during the championship match of the U12 division of the Pacific Asia Youth Invitational soccer tournament at the Guam Football Association facility in Harmon. The Philippines won 7-6]
Just three minutes later, Cruz earned a goal for himself to put the Sidekicks up 2-0 in the contest. The Philippines’ Isaac Dale later scored on a header that sailed over the Sidekicks’ goalkeeper Jerome Artero’s outstretched arms in the final seconds of the game to deny the Sidekicks a shutout victory.
In the U12 division, the Philippines came back from a 5-2 deficit to defeat the Wings for the championship title 7-6.
The Wings frustrated the Philippines through the first half, leading 4-2 before the halftime whistle. The Wings’ Takumi Ito then put his team up 5-2 on a successful free kick in the opening minutes of the second half.
About 10 minutes into the half, Fidel Tacardon, who was fuming with frustration with the result from the first half, channeled his energy toward two back-to-back goals, including a header off a corner kick. Teammate Randy Raz added another goal on a shot from the left side to knot the contest at 5-all. Later, Tacardon found a gap in the Wings’ defense and took a shot from the left center to the far post, putting his team up 6-5.
Late in the half, the Wings were awarded a penalty kick on a handball violation in the box called on the Philippines. The Philippines keeper stopped Ito’s shot, but Ito was given another go as it was ruled that the goalkeeper was too far out from the goal line when he blocked the shot. In Ito’s second go, he was able to make his shot to the right post, knotting the game at 6-all.
Raz came through with a clutch goal in the final minute of injury time off a free kick from the left side to the far post to secure his team’s victory.
The Philippines’ first two goals were from Francis Tacardon and Edmund Venus. Preston Boynton, Taira Kobori and Masaki Spence also scored for the Wings.
In the semifinals, the Philippines defeated the Strykers in the U14 division 7-2, behind multiple goals from Dale and Mauro Acot. Jaythaniel Cruz and Scott Ishizu scored for the Strykers.
The Sidekicks defeated the Wings 4-3, with Cruz scoring the eventual game winner in the 53rd minute. Kinney and younger brother Dalton Kinney scored the Sidekicks’ other goals. Sean Evans, Jonah Sablan and Xavier Kirksey scored for the Wings.
In the U12 division, the Wings defeated the Strykers 5-2 to set up the final with the Philippines, a 14-1 winner over the ASC Islanders. Raz, Tacardon, and Venus combined for 10 goals. Alex Dulay, Sam Unabia, Khristian Cammayo and Karl Bugayong also scored for the Philippines.
An award ceremony and trophy presentation was held in honor of the top three teams in both divisions.