THE Cebu Elite boys 13-Under team lost steam and bowed to Iloilo in the Visayas regional qualifiers in San Carlos City yesterday.
Iloilo avenged an earlier 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Cebu by bouncing back with a close 3-2 victory in the championship match.
“I don’t want to make excuses but we had plenty of chances we weren’t able to execute.
The game wasn’t for us,” Cebu Elite 13-Under coach Mario Ceniza told Sun.Star Cebu.
Iloilo scored the first goal but Enzo Ceniza, the son of Mario, tied the match with a penalty shot. Iloilo then scored another goal, which was countered by a magnificent goal by Bertram Musni outside the penalty box.
With the game tied at 2-2, Cebu conceded another goal by Iloilo for a 3-2 win for the latter.
Cebu crushed San Carlos City, 3-1, and Dumaguete, 4-2, to earn a slot in the finals.
Despite the loss, Mario was satisfied with the performance by his team even though they are missing two key players--strikers Vincent Lovitos and Moiselle Alforque of Don Bosco Technology Center. The two didn’t suit up for the championship match because both went home for their graduation.
“We were very good collectively. We were the darling of the crowd here because of the way we played. We were just unlucky,” said the older Ceniza. “I’m very contented with their performance despite missing two players.”
Lovitos and Alforque, according to Mario, were among the best strikers of the team.
Regardless of losing in the final match, nine players from Cebu were named in the All-Star match, which was ongoing as of press time. However, Mario believes more players from Cebu should have been chosen in the All-Star match, which he believes would be the basis of the scouts on selecting the players in the training pool for the RP 13-Under Boys team.
“I was expecting more (players) based on how we played,” he said.
The RP 13-Under Boys squad or “Little Azkals” is scheduled to compete in the Asian Football Confederation Festival of Football in Malaysia in June.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 27, 2011.