Green Archers 9, Pachanga Diliman 5
Yes, this score really happened. I saw every glorious minute.
GAU had plenty of excuses to let in five goals. Starting defenders William Ebanda, Lawrence Obinna, and Dodong Villareal were all in street clothes either due to accumulated yellow cards or injuries. Daniel Del Rio is off to Europe and it’s not clear if he will return.
GAU started Alex Elnar in the flank and he was so ill leading up to the game that he needed to be Berocca’d to health. The inexperienced Greggy Yang needed to play centerback.
Only some heroics from keeper Paolo Pascual prevented more concessions.
But Pachanga? Sad to see their defense get repeatedly rocked, with Jhan Jhan Melliza pulverizing Andrew Santiago on two goals. It’s strange how a team with Anto Gonzales leading them from holding mid could very nearly allow double-digits. It didn’t help that Steve Yambou’s positioning let him down.
Are we a nation that produces attacking players but not defenders? That is on my mind upon thinking about this game. There probably isn’t another top-flight league in any other nation where a futsal-like score like this can happen. Perhaps there needs to be a focus on channeling young kids to play centerback or fullback instead of striker, and coaching them right.
But one thing is sure: a bunch of players channelled their inner Zlatan to perfection. GAU’s Robert Lopez-Mendy, with four goals and an assist, was magnificent. Melliza and Jimuel Arriola showed us what we could have had in the SEA Games had they been included in the team for Singapore.
On the flip side, Hamed Hajimehdi and Jinggoy Valmayor scored some terrific goals for PD.
Can’t wait for Jojo Lirio to cook up the highlights of this game. I will share.
Ceres 6, Loyola 1
Saw most of this on TV. Is it just me or does every Ceres goal seem to involve a counter-attack? This side has serious team speed and fitness. They have a way of outlasting teams late into the second half.
Bienvenido Maranon is another scary good find for Ali Go’s men.
Louie Casas really shone with some fine saves and interventions. He may be small but he has the experienced and quality to still be considered for an Azkals spot. I’d much rather have a small but skilled keeper over a tall but technically weak one.
Great to see Carlie De Murga back in the stadium. The former Azkal says he is between “30 and 40 percent fit” so it may take a while before he trots out on the field again for Ceres. That guy has been very unlucky with injuries.
IT’s pretty much Ceres’ title to lose right now if you ask me. They are a cut above unless another team really steps up.