Pearl Harbor Futbol Club blanks Air Mobility Squadron

 Pearl Harbor Futbol Club (PHFC) striker Moussa Niang, a Department of Defense (DoD) employee, boots the ball downfield as 735th Air Mobility Squadron (735 AMS) Tech. Sgt. Brandon Durden tries to defend in a Soccer Intramural League Gold Division game at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 19. The PHFC shut out the 735 AMS, 4-0, to raise their league record to 2-0.

Pearl Harbor Futbol Club (PHFC) striker Moussa Niang, a Department of Defense (DoD) employee, boots the ball downfield as 735th Air Mobility Squadron (735 AMS) Tech. Sgt. Brandon Durden tries to defend in a Soccer Intramural League Gold Division game at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 19. The PHFC shut out the 735 AMS, 4-0, to raise their league record to 2-0.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor

The Pearl Harbor Futbol Club (PHFC) scored its second straight victory of the young season by running past the 735th Air Mobility Squadron (735 AMS), 4-0, in a Soccer Intramural League Gold Division game at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 19.

Pearl Harbor, which competed as Shipyard in last year’s summer soccer league, got goals from Department of Defense (DoD) employee Moussa Niang and Hospital Corpsman Karamoh Sesay to take a 2-0 lead at half-time, before closing out the win with tallies from DoD civilians, Nate Hogue and Jason Nakakura.

“Last year, our team was really good, but I think we’ll be better,” said Sesay, who helped Shipyard to the summer league’s championship final. “We practice every Tuesday and Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and I think we have a good team.”

Against the 735 AMS, PHFC broke out to a quick lead on Niang’s boot to the right corner of the goal.

Niang got the ball near midfield then drove the ball straight up the middle, past the collapsing defense of the 735, before delivering his scoring kick.

Minutes later, Sesay added the team’s second goal on a similar play down the heart of the 735 AMS defense.

“As a striker, I have to run and keep pushing,” Sesay noted. “I saw that the keeper was coming, so I just kicked the ball. When you see the goal-keeper coming at you, you have to make sure that you kick the ball on his opposite side.”

While most of the second half was a defensive battle between the two adversaries, Hogue sealed Pearl Harbor’s win with a late goal on a kick from the right wing.

The team got its final score on a play that might have ricocheted off a 735 AMS player and into the net.

As PHFC completed a corner kick on the left sideline, the ball zoomed ahead toward the left goal post, were Nakakura dashed to meet the pass.

Instead, the ball appeared to be cut off by 735 AMS Tech. Sgt. Brandon Durden, who may have inadvertently deflected the shot into the goal.

Although Pearl Harbor did a solid job on offense, the team was even better on the opposite side of the ball, where it stifled the 735 AMS attack with a skintight defense.

Pearl Harbor’s defense was especially tough in the second half, as the team contained most of the action near midfield.

Durden explained that changes to the 735 AMS lineup at the start of the game might have contributed to their difficulties on offense.

“The individuals that we practiced with, due to enlistment requirements, didn’t show up,” Durden said. “We tried to fill in with what we had, but they had a lot more fresh legs and experience.”

Despite the one-sided defeat, Durden remained optimistic about his team’s future.

“We’ll be able to bounce back,” assured Durden, whose team’s record is now even at 1-1. “We need more communication and get used to whoever we’re playing with. It’s just getting the comfort level down.”

Meanwhile, as strong as Pearl Harbor seemed in its matchup against the 735, Sesay also admitted that the team still has a few more things to work out during practice.

Sesay added although he expects that the league’s new format will make it harder to reach the title showdown, he is looking forward to future games versus Air Force commands.

This season marks the first time that Navy and Air Force teams are meeting head on during the regular season and playoffs.

“I’ve played against them (Air Force) before,” Sesay pointed out. “They have real good players too – guys that know how to play soccer.”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: News