By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Newcomer Pachanga blanked Cebu Queen City Landmasters United, 4-0, Saturday to clinch top spot in Group C in the United Football League Cup at the University of Makati pitch.
Barotac Nuevo-born striker Joven Bedic was on target for the third straight game while three other players scored for Pachanga, which finished on top of the group after tallying seven points on two wins and a draw.
Pachanga leapfrogged past Stallion FC as the top team in the group heading into the last 16. Defending champion Global is also well-positioned to reach the next round from the group as one of the wildcard entries intended for the two best third-placed teams.
In the second game, Pasargad and Green Archers fought to a 1-1 draw.
With the stalemate, both teams advanced as the top two teams from Group G with Green Archers ruling the bracket with seven points and Pasargad finishing second with four.
The other qualifiers for the last 16 so far are Nomads (Group A), Loyola Meralco and Team Socceroos (Group B), Stallion FC (Group C), Kaya-Cignal and Diliman Victory Liner (Group D), Air Force Phoenix and Navy Red Juice (Group E) and Philippine Army (Group G).
Bedic, who struck in matches against Stallion and Global, completed the scoring for Pachanga in the 54th minute with a half-volley from the edge of the area after a long punt from goalkeeper Mark Sorongon.
Substitute Ronnel Lagrimas, coming in for the injured Shilmar Felongco, struck in the 13th minute, firing a first-time shot into the bottom corner after he was set up by Alu Kigbu.
The Cebuanos also had their chances with Ariel Cahilig testing Sorongon from long range in the 28th minute and also from a tight angle five minutes later.
Cebu was made to pay for not taking their opportunities as Gino Palomo doubled the lead for Pachanga in the 42nd minute.
Rushing down the right flank, Palomo did well to slot the ball beyond the Cebu keeper’s reach, before finding Kigbu a minute later who had plenty of time and space to fire into the back of the net.