By Edri K. Aznar
THE 53rd Army ended its debut in the Aboitiz Football Cup in victory as it upset defending champions University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Alumni in the Men’s Cup championship last Sunday at the Aboitiz Sports field.
The 53rd Army, composed of a mix of enlisted men and non-army personnel, was the underdog in the matchup but managed to pull off an upset 2-1 win.
The team also brought along a band that cheered them on from start to finish.
USJ-R Alumni’s Dave Intong drew first blood with a goal in the 15th minute but Voltaire Montebon quickly tied the game at 1-1 with an answer five minutes after.
Both teams had limited scoring opportunities midway into the game before Eduardo Gempisaw got the go-ahead goal past reserve keeper Tony Caldallero.
Caldallero stepped in for USJ-R Alumni’s ace goalkeeper Peter Onde, who was absent from the championship match.
USJ-R tried its best to tie the game and force extra time but their harried plays resulted in wasted scoring opportunities.
It’s the second time the 53rd Army won a tournament in Cebu in its first try. It also won the 9th Cebu Amateur Football Club Interclub in its first attempt.
Don Bosco Magone grabbed third place after beating Xantos FC, 1-0.
Eugene Yclino V scored the only goal of the match from a penalty kick in the 62nd minute.
Meanwhile, the defending champions Crazy Horse retained its title in the Men’s League after a 1-1 draw with University of the Philippines Foundation (USPF).
Rene Sanchez of USPF hit the net in the 23 minute, while Joshua Fegidero tied the game in the 38th.
Crazy Horse was declared the winner as it topped the league with 17 points, Queen City United finished second with 16 points and USPF was third with 15.
Had USPF won the game, it would have overtaken Crazy Horse by a point and bagged the crown.
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