By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Air Force Phoenix seeks to clinch a spot in the knockout stage of the United Football League Cup when it tackles with Philippine Navy at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Airmen, winners of the league the past two seasons, look to carry the momentum of their 4-1 win over Laos last Sunday in the 4 p.m. clash against a Navy side that upgraded its roster for the Cup.
Bracketed in the tournament’s group of death, Stallion and Cebu Queen City collide in the first game at 2 p.m. Both matches will be aired live by AKTV on IBC13.
Kaya already booked its place in the round of 16 with a 5-0 demolition of Schwarz Friday night at the University of Makati pitch.
Azkals striker Nate Burkey scored four goals in the match to jack up his tally to seven for the tournament, tying Loyola Meralco’s Phil Younghuband on top of the scoring charts.
The 26-year-old Burkey, who played division 1 soccer in Virginia Commonwealth, opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the ninth minute, before completing his hat-trick with goals in the 12th and 22nd minute.
Burkey added a fourth goal in the 66th minute from close range after a pinpoint cross from newcomer Paolo Atayde.
Kaya hiked their record to six points from two matches, after opening the campaign with a 3-2 win over Diliman Victory Liner where Burkey also struck a hat-trick.
The Airmen will lean on national players Chieffy Caligdong and Ian Araneta, who scored three goals in the win over Laos.
Navy, a team that failed to win a single match in league play in the first division, flashed improved form in a 9-0 domination of second division side Manila All-Japan last weekend.
Stallion, a 3-2 winner over defending champion Global, seeks to rebound from a loss to Pachanga last week against the Cebuanos, who are also reeling from a 0-3 defeat from defending champion Global.
Other crucial matches over the weekend include the Global-Pachanga duel at 3 p.m. on Sunday at University of Makati pitch.
Loyola Meralco Sparks, coming off a 15-1 rout of Socceroos, gun for a place in the round of 16 against Internacionale in group B play at 5 p.m. on Sunday also at UMak.