MANILA, Philippines - Ceres-La Salle FC and Pachanga-Diliman FC thwarted their foes to snatch wins in the group stage of the United Football League (UFL) FA League Cup at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Tuesday, September 23.
Capitalizing on their momentum coming off an imposing first game win, Ceres FC dominated Stallion FC, 4-2, to tally their second win in the FA League Cup.
The battle between the two Visayan clubs started off with Stallion FC exhibiting their strength by asserting their way through the heart of their rival’s defense, resulting in an early goal by Jordan Mintah in the 11th minute.
Not long after, UFL rookie Adrian Gallardo answered back with a goal of his own off a pass from Orman Okunaiya in the 14th minute to level the score line at 1-1.
A flurry of attacks coming from both sides marred the remaining minutes of the opening half but no more goals were sunk going into the break.
Azkals standout Patrick Reichelt, who came in as a substitute in the 34th minute, extended the lead for Ceres as he notched one through the middle of the Stallion FC defense in the 50th minute.
With just a single goal separating them from their opponents, Stallion FC continued on with their game, pressuring Ceres on both sides of the pitch but their toothless attacks were easy pickings for veteran goalkeeper Ed Sacapaño.
Reichelt headed another goal into the back of the net off a corner kick in the 57th minute to extend the lead of his squad to 3-1.
Consequently, Stallion retaliated on the other side via a free kick goal by Angel Carrascosa in the 61st minute. The game progressed with Ceres only leading Stallion by a goal, 3-2.
In the dying minutes of the game, veteran defender and Ceres FC skipper Juani Guirado wrote the final sentence of the match as he slipped a final goal in to end the game, 4-2.
Meanwhile, Pachanga FC captured their first win in the tournament by overshadowing Manila Jeepney FC, 4-3.
The action-packed game escalated quickly as back-to-back goals were slithered by both clubs five minutes into the first half courtesy of Pachanga’s Behrouz Khoshgavar and Manila Jeepney’s Arthur Kouassi.
A few minutes after, Kouassi, in an effort to break the deadlock, broke free from his defender and struck a scissor’s kick towards the Pachanga goal but the crossbar denied his shot.
In the 22nd minute of the match, Gerardo Valmayor managed to find a gap on Manila Jeepney’s defense via a pass from his teammate Jafary Dastjerdi and finally break the 1-1 standstill between the two teams.
Pachanga-Diliman was relentless with their offensive blitz forcing the defense of Manila Jeepney FC to give up a penalty kick due to a handball inside the box. Yi Young Park took the penalty and converted, giving his club a 3-1 advantage going into halftime.
Preventing their adversaries from capturing an easy win, Manila Jeepney shifted their offense to full throttle which then led to another goal by Kouassi in the 53rd minute.
The recharged offense of the Manila-based club proved to be instrumental as they managed to pull off a comeback via a penalty kick that was sank by Jahanbakhsh Zabihi Taher to tie the game at 3-3.
Answering back on the other end, Valmayor logged his second goal to extinguish the fired up offense of Manila Jeepney and end the game with a 4-3 score line for his home squad.
Also, to cap off the victories for Tuesday’s UFL action, Loyola Meralco Sparks FC trounced Army FC, 3-1, at the Emperador Stadium while Global FC devoured Dolphins United FC, 12-0. - Rappler.com