THE Leylam Little Azkals showed why they deserve to represent the country in international competition after an easy disposal of Cebu football powerhouse Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) in the Boys-14 finals of the 10th Thirsty Football Cup yesterday at the Cebu City Sports Center.
The Little Azkals, the Philippine National Under-14 squad, held DBTC scoreless, 3-0, to win their second straight title in the Boys-14 division of the biggest annual football festival in Cebu City.
The Little Azkals started with a quick pace and immediately scored a goal with just a minute into the game. Cebuano winger Soy Soy Colina struck from a distance and hit the back of the net after the Don Bosco goalkeeper failed to block the shot.
Three minutes later, another Cebuano national team player, Major Dean Ebarle, hit his target after stripping the ball from a defender and striking it from point blank range.
Ebarle, who was named MVP, showed that not only can he score goals but he can also pass as he set up Mark Winhoffer with an accurate ground ball for a goal in the 18th minute.
DBTC had some shots on target but the Little Azkals defense was top notch.
“I didn’t expect it to be that easy. Don Bosco is one of the top teams of Cebu in the Under-14 division,” Little Azkals head coach Oliver Colina told Sun.Star Cebu after wresting the Boy-14 crown.
The Little Azkals earned a trip to the championship round after a 2-0 win over Tubigon, while DBTC earned its slot with a 1-0 victory over Paref-Springdale.
The Little Azkals, composed of the best Under-14 players from the Philippines, is preparing for an Asean Football Federation tournament in the middle of this year. They will also leavfe for in Australia for a training camp two weeks before the competition.
“Our main target is the Boys-17 division and not the Under-14. This only serves as a tune-up,” said Colina.
The Leylam Little Azkals was preparing to compete in the Under-17 division against bigger and better teams at press time.
Meanwhile, the Abellana National School (ANS) took the Boys-19 crown after edging out visiting Silliman University, 1-0, the other night. Tom Booth scored the lone goal for ANS.
Action in the Thirsty Cup, which attracted 349 teams on its 10th edition, resumes today at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 17, 2013.