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THIS past weekend, many of the island's young athletes played host to teams from the Philippines in an array of sports in the 2012 Governor's Youth Athletic Invitational games.
Action around the Guam Football Association mini-turf pitch was intense as Guam's Wolverines Soccer Club took on the Philippine team from Claret in U10 division. At the end of regulation time, the scoreboard reflected both teams’ efforts on the field as they battled to a 2-2 draw.
Both teams came out playing aggressive on both sides of the field to prevent any clear opportunities at gaining the upper edge. However, in the 10th minute of play, the Wolverines struck first and posted the game's first goal. Jonathan Sevilla played alert soccer and intercepted a goal kick by Claret that he took back in for a shot and score.
Despite trailing early in the game, Claret continued to hustle on every play in hopes of tying the game. Their first chance came in the 13th minute of play when Raniel Emil Castro created space for a breakaway. However, the Wolverine's defensive trio of Josiah Bernardo, Shyann Roberto and Noah Sablan were able to close in and clear the ball away from danger territory.
Persistence and determination eventually paid off for Claret as they finally equalized the game at 1-1. After receiving a pass from teammate Florenz Carlos Tacardon, Castro managed to fend off four Wolverines to create a shot good enough to find the back of the net. The remainder of the first half would end with neither team being able to add another goal.
The start of the second half was not much different as both teams continued their aggressive play. Ten minutes into the half, the over-aggressive playing eventually cost the Wolverines dearly as a foul in the goal box set up a penalty kick for Claret. Squeezing the ball into the right corner of the box, Claret's Tacardon gave his team a 2-1 edge.
With several missed opportunities, the Wolverines weren't willing to throw in the towel and settle for a loss. As time on the clock continued to tick away, the Wolverines recognized that something needed to happen soon. In the 49th minute of play, a foul called on Claret set up a free kick for the Wolverines just right outside of the penalty box. It was from that point that Shaun-Paul Martinez lofted a shot right over the Claret wall and into the goal for the equalizing score.
The Wolverines looked to strike again at the restart of play as Michael Lee put on some pretty moves to create space. However, a shot opportunity was denied by the Claret defense, ending the game as the final whistle was blown.