As you can see by this picture, Green Archers United Globe needs to work on making their goal celebrations a bit less awkward.
But at least on Tuesday they had something to cheer about as they beat Kaya 3-2 to go to 10 points on the table, level with PLDT Home Fibr. It’s a big win because it puts them clear of the relegation zone. Socceroo are at 6 points and Pasargad languishing in the bottom with four.
GAU exploited a weary Kaya side that had to play on Sunday night then again on Tuesday. Perhaps league tournament director Ritchie Gannaban owes the team a beer or two.
Kaya were also without Chris Greatwich who was fouled hard by Ousseynou Diop on Sunday and was nursing an aching shin.
It was a see-saw battle that was poised at 2-2 after goals from Tating Pasilan, Dodong Villareal for GAU and strikes by Anton Del Rosario and super-sub Janrick Soriano for Kaya. But Jesse Martindale settles it for United with a ferocious long-range left-footer late in the game from 25 yards out.
Kaya keeper Nick O’Donnell had a rough day at the office. He could have prevented at least one of the goals. But he’s a fine keeper and for sure he will bounce back. Kaya now has Manu Saubach behind him. The towering Fil-Austrian last played in the UFL for Pachanga in the 2012 Cup. Kaya’s other keeper, Mark Sorongon, was in crutches after knee surgery.
Kaya was hoping to close the gap on Loyola and Global but with 20 points, nine back of the Sparks, the title may just be out of reach for David Perkovic and his men unless Loyola stumbles badly. Kaya tried to give team boss Santi Araneta three points for his birthday but it just wasn’t meant to be.
You must say, though, they do look great in those Dortmund-esque black and yellow striped stockings.
It wasn’t all good news for the Archers, though. Pasilan hurt his knee while scoring and had to be subbed. With Chieffy Caligdong also out, United is now bereft of two of their top left-sided attacking options.
We did see a good shift from new acquisition Kweon Dae Eun at centerback. I am told he will also play for DLSU in UAAP Season 77.
In the first game Loyola swept away Pasargad 5-0. Ayi Nii’s men did display some quality with new central midfielder Hossein Doustdarsefidmazgi, whose name was mercifully reduced to “Douz” by TV 5 commentators Jing Jamlang and Ryan Fenix. (Just when you’ve mastered Shayan Jafaridastjerdi this one pops up.)
Another new Iranian signing, Mohsen Akbari Sarabi, almost scored off a wicked overhead in the first half.
But Loyola were not to be denied. Matty Hartmann continued to make his case for another chance with the Azkals by assisting on two goals and scoring another. Fred Gonzalez also got on the scoresheet as did Jake Morallo and of course, a pair from the Pambansang Paa, Phil Younghusband.
His brother, James, was still in street clothes. Vince Santos says he starts training on Friday.
Pasargad is up shit creek sans paddle at the moment, holding up the table and desperately lacking momentum. But they can take solace in one thing: Ayi Aryee Nii is easily the league’s best-dressed coach. His light-green button-down shirt went well with his heavily-embroidered jeans.
One Pasargad player did have the benefit of some support in the stands. Peyman Cabarrus Nejad Safavi was cheered on by his mates Reza Amirkhizan, Jahanbahksh Taher, Misagh Bahadoran, and Milad Behgandom. Call them the Pasargad Alumni Association if you will. They said his name with a form of Persian rhythmic chanting not heard since FIBA Asia.
Bahadoran said this bunch would cheer for any side for fifty pesos. I told him I’d hire them for Air Force games for five.