Matao to play final match of EAFF tourney vs Mongolia

[September 5, 2018 - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia] Improvements for mastery of Guam’s new national football playing style will be made as the Matao moves into the final day of competition Thursday in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship Preliminary Competition Round 1 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Guam will take on the host country in the final men’s competition match of the tournament beginning at 7 p.m. Guam time Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to our final match in the tournament against the home country,” said Karl Dodd, Matao Head Coach. “As we’re in the beginning stages of implementing a new Guam national football playing style, we’re a work in progress and will continue building on our experiences with each match we play. We’re rejuvenating the squad with many talented young players who many of us are familiar with from Guam’s domestic league and they’ve been contributing greatly to the team.

“The players are continuing to learn their roles with our new playing style and in a fairly short amount of time have been making adjustments as needed with every match. This is what we need and expect from our players if we want a sustainable national program,” Dodd added.

After shutting out Northern Mariana Islands 4-0 in the tournament’s opening day, the Matao faced a minor setback in a two-goal loss to Macau on Day 2 Tuesday.

“I think from the start you could see that Macau’s game plan was to slow the tempo down and to get numbers behind the ball to make it difficult for us to play our possession-style game,” said veteran midfielder Jason Cunliffe in a post-match interview after Guam’s match against Macau. “As you know, we’re implementing a new style – we had a 16 year old playing in the holding midfield position for us and we’re playing out from the back – sometimes mistakes will happen, so credit to Macau; they got a goal early against the run of play, then they got numbers behind the ball, and they slowed it down.

“That’s football sometimes, but we’re going to continue to play our style – we still have destiny in our hands. We come out against Mongolia in two days time and if we get the result we need, we can still go through,” Cunliffe added.

In Tuesday’s other match, Mongolia defeated the Northern Mariana Islands 9-0.

More information about the tournament and match results are available on the tournament’s official Web site at

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