Team Socceroo just doesn’t know it’s place in this league.
The eighth-place side is supposed to cave to the upper echelon of UFL teams, just like everyone else. But they just don’t get it.
A few weeks after drawing Meralco 3-3 they dropped Stallion 4-3 in what I assume was a thrilling match. I missed the second half.
I did see the first 45 minutes on TV. Stallion went ahead thanks to two goals borne of defending gaffes. Balot Doctora’s opener was pure sweetness. Masood Shadideh pried the ball from Enzo Pinga and offloaded to Doctora, who schooled Antonio Bonoan with a neat switch of the ball to his weaker left foot. From there he hoofed past Rolando Cabaniero.
Minutes later Shadideh, late of Manila Jeepney, made it 2-0. Then I went off to the Street Child World Cup press con, secure that the defending champs would take this one, especially since TS coach Kleng Cacacho surprisingly took out dangerman Lee Jeong Woo just before the half.
Like an hour later we hear the news in the press con, and everyone there is shocked. Socceroo came back from 3-1 down to win it 4-3, thanks to a second half hat trick from ex-Stallion Diego Barrera.
Socceroo may be a very inconsistent club with plenty of inexperience, especially on defense, but they have weapons. Their #7 and #10, Park Yi Young and Lee, remind us all of that other #7 and #10 combination we are used to seeing with the Azkals. Now Barrera is there too.
The team that hates the result more than anyone is Pasargad, who are five points adrift from Socceroo and looked doomed to life in the Second Division unless things change very quickly.
In the other match Army once again got steamrollered. Bizarrely, this is the third time they have been given a hiding by the elite clubs by that exact same 9-1 score this season. And yet they are in dead center of the table, fifth with 13 points. Go figure.
I saw a bit of the match on the telly from Howzat. Some of the defending from the Ilonggo-Korean side was pretty awful.
Army probably missed Yok Becite, who was suspended. He may be the team’s best outfield player, Filipino or otherwise.
Juicy pair of matches on tap for Saturday. GAU vs Pasargad at 6pm, then Kaya and Pachanga PLDT Home Fibr after. Pasargad is a real banana skin for the Archers. Their new signings are potent, and GAU will still not have Chieffy Caligdong back, and probably not Tating Pasilan either. You have the feeling that Kaya will need three points against PLDT Home Fibr if they are to entertain title hopes.