By Mike T. Limpag
Sunday, October 16, 2011
THE Cebu Queen City United faltered in its UFL Cup debut, losing to the defending champion Global FC at the Alabang Country Club football field yesterday, 3-0, in Group C.
“We still have a lot of things to work on,” Cebu Queen City coach Mario Ceniza, who only had less than a month to form the team, told Sun.Star Cebu.
The loss leaves Queen City as the only winless team in the bracket, which is considered as the Group of Death in the UFL Cup. Pachanga got on board after beating the Stallions, 2-0, for its first win. Pachanga, the Stallions and Global all have three points but Global has the lead based on the number of goals scored, at six. Pachanga is second with two goals, while the Stallions, the first week leader, are third.
Ceniza said the team’s lack of exposure and competitive games counted against them as yesterday’s game was their first competitive match since the team was formed. They only had a couple of friendlies before making their UFL Cup debut.
“Most of the goals we conceded were due to lapses and miscommunication,” said Ceniza, who added Global is miles ahead in terms of experience.
Izzo El-Habbib scored all three goals for Global, which also missed the services of the injured Angel Guirado Aldeguer and Remy Seri.
Though he conceded three goals, Ceniza was all praises for Cebuano keeper Alex Buanghog Jr., who had a few fine saves against the vaunted Global offense.
Global FC coach Graeme Mackinnon said he was happy that his players finally delivered after their opening day loss to the Stallions, 3-2, and the team will shoot for their third win against Pachanga next week.
Team owner Dan Palami, who played in the final 15 minutes yesterday, said, “It’s the kind of win we really need after the loss last week and it’s just bad that it came against our ‘sister club’ Cebu.”
Palami had a shot at open goal in the match but it was headed off by a defender.
Mackinnon added the pitch was also a factor in yesterday’s game.
“It would have been a better match if it was played on better pitches. Both teams lost a few chances because the ball would get stuck in the mud,” said Mackinnon.
Despite the loss, Cebu still has a solid shot at making the knockout quarterfinal stage of the UFL Cup and must beat the Stallions this Saturday.
“All is not lost, naa pa tay dako nga chance,” Ceniza said.
The team is set to resume light training today and will be back to its regular training sessions tomorrow. Ceniza is also planning to arrange a series of friendlies against college teams now that the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. season is over.
In the other matches yesterday, the Philippine Army crushed Garuda, 11-0, Pasragad FC beat the Dolphins, 1-0, and the Schwarz Futbol Club drew the ABC Stars, 1-1.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2011.