By Karlo Sacamos
He came in near the halfway mark of the season, but Alireza Jamali’s arrival was right on cue for Pachanga-Diliman.
The Iranian striker scored for the second time in three games so far for the 2012 Division 2 titlists, leading Pachanga to a 2-0 victory over Green Archers United on Saturday night in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
OJ Clariño fired the other second-half goal for Pachanga, which continued to make its mark in its maiden Division 1 campaign by moving back to the top half of the 10-team standings in fifth place, displacing Nomads.
Sought from Iran to provide the offensive punch the squad lacked in its previous games, Jamali delivered anew as he drew first blood seven minutes into the second half by capitalizing on a goal left empty after a desperate challenge from Archers ‘keeper Patrick Deyto.
“We really need players on top who can handle the ball. And given the short time, kaya na niya agad mag-adjust sa kanyang teammates so yun yung maganda,” Pachanga coach Noel Marcaida said of the 23-year-old Jamali, a former Pasargad player who was once a member of the Iran national team.
“Magandang timing yung pagdating niya.”
Clariño added the insurance goal right before stoppage time off a cross from Boyet Cañedo.
The Archers, who missed skipper Tating Pasilan due to fever, absorbed their sixth loss in eight games to remain in eighth place with four points.
Without Pasilan, the Archers still conjured chances but Jesus Melliza, Chieffy Caligdong, and Jovanie Simpron were unable to convert.
“Yung plano nag-materialize. We give the credit to the players, tinrabaho talaga nila,” Marcaida said.
In Division 2 action, Agila nipped Philippine Navy, 1-0, to move just three points behind leader Socceroo (18 points) in the standings.
The Sailors remained at the bottom of the field with only five points to show.