BAGUIO City leaned on the hat trick of Jospeh Lingwayon to eke out a 4-1 over Tarlac to open their campaign in the Smart Club National Championship–Luzon Cluster at the BSU football pitch.
Lingwayon scored all his goals in the second half of the ball game to the quarterfinal round along with the top 10 teams participating in the UFL Cup after a goal in the first half by Sudanese striker Badreldin El-Habib in the 34 minute mark.
El-Habib’s free kick set the tone for Baguio City Football Association’s first victory in the event backed by telecommunications giant Smart in cooperation with the Philippine Football Federation where bulk of the BCFA squad is composed of players from the Baguio United Football Club.
Lingwayon scored his first goal in the 55 minute mark of the ball game then followed it up with another goal in the 57 minute before closing the scoring for Baguio in the 69 minute mark.
“We were just testing the fitness of the other squad in the first half and when we had our rhythm, we knew we had the ball game,” said BCFA coach Benjamin Antonio Tolete.
Tarlac, however, avoided a clean sheet by the home team after a goal by Charbers in the 77 minute mark of the ball game.
“We’re just happy with the way we defended during the game although we conceded a goal but overall it was a good game for us,” added Tolete.
Earlier, Cavite also notched its first win in the five tournament y scoring a 2-1 victory over Oriental Mindoro led by Abel de Castro who scored in the 37 minute mark.
Mindoro tied the count with a goal courtesy of Ali Manmoud in the 45 minute mark but Alvin Obero scored the game winning goal for Cavite in the 84 minute mark.
As off this writing, powerhouse Rizal and Laguna were still squaring off in the single round robin format with the top teams advancing to the regional eliminations then the top two teams advancing to the Round of 16, the start of the knockout stage, wherein they will be joined by the top 10 UFL teams.
Despite the win over Tarlac, Tolete remains upbeat of their chances in the tournament considering the odds against Rizal and Laguna.
“We still need to talk things over on our game plan for the next game but things look bright for the team with the way we played our first game today,” closed out Tolete as they face Oriental Mindoro at 10:30 a.m. today also at the BSU football pitch.
Cavite will also seek its second victory against Rizal in the afternoon games while Laguna and Tarlac squares off at 8 in the morning.