Guam – The Guam women’s national football team stayed within striking distance through the whole match against the Rovers FC men’s masters team, but in the end ran out of time to concede the 4-3 victory to their older opponents in an exhibition match yesterday at LeoPalace Resort Guam.
“Our opponents definitely gave us a challenge,” said women’s national team head coach Elias Merfalen. “We’re used to very direct play, but with the way our opponents were playing, we instead worked the sides a lot. We created scoring chances with passes from the back to the flanks.
“Overall, I’m happy with the team’s performance against the Rovers. There are just some aspects of the game we need to work on and the game (yesterday) definitely exposed them,” Merfalen added.
[ The women’s national team’s Anjelica Perez shifts right to keep the ball away from the Rovers FC’s Rudy Restuvog in an exhibition match Thursday at LeoPalace. The Rovers FC edged the women’s national team 4-3]
Hungry for goals, the national team picked up the intensity in the second half as they faced a 2-0 deficit. Anjelica Perez struck first for the national team in the 47th minute when she capitalized on a loose ball in front of the goal after the Rovers FC’s goalkeeper Dave Bush went down attempting to break up a corner kick play.
The Rovers FC answered back about seven minutes later when Carlos Barajas took a through pass from Take Inoue and finished the play to give his team a 3-1 advantage.
Later, with the Rovers FC anticipating passes to the flanks, the national team’s Simie Willter found some space in the center and took a shot with just enough power to ricochet off the left post and into the goal to make it a 3-2 contest.
Not wanting to give up the lead, Inoue was back in scoring form, carrying the ball up field and taking a shot with two national team defenders converging on him. The national team’s Jena Cruz blocked Inoue’s initial shot, but Inoue was able to find his follow-up shot moments later.
Analejsia Lee scored the last goal of the contest, connecting on a pass from Willter in the center. The Rovers FC defenders expected an offside call, but with no whistle blown, Lee proceeded to knock in her shot for the final 4-3 score.
Inoue and Manoucher Sabeti scored the Rovers’ first half goals.
The women’s national team has a few more practice sessions during its training camp at LeoPalace. Merfalen and assistant coach Brett Maluwelmeng will be making final evaluations to select the final 18 for the upcoming East Asian Football Championship preliminary round tournament by next week.