After sustaining two lopsided defeats, Agila MSA FC broke out from their slump by shutting down Fleet Marine FC with the score of 5-0 in Group B action of the UFL Cup 2015 staged Sunday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Momentum was with Agila MSA from the start. The first real chance of the match came five minutes after kickoff. Olayemi Bakare found Peter Sajko whose shot was saved by Fleet Marine goalie Coulibaly Abdoulaye. The men dressed in immaculate white continued to force their way past Fleet Marine defense through the use of well-timed through passes inside the attacking third. At the 14th minute, Agila MSA found the breakthrough courtesy of Joseph Clottey who hammered in the ball from Peter Sajko’s pass inside the box. Clottey had a go once more via a free kick in the following minute but Abdoulaye got the better of the Agila MSA striker. At the 19th minute, Agila MSA’s dominance soon became visible on paper when Shaun Narca sent the ball to Bakare who made no mistake from around eight yards.
In order to say that Agila MSA soared over their opponents, a third unanswered goal is some what necessary. Chances rarely came after the Division II club scored their second but on the opportunity that fell 11 minutes before halftime, they made it count. Scorer of the second goal, Bakare returned the favor to Narca who neatly volleyed his rebound attempt of his earlier saved shot to put Agila three goals to the good. It could have been a four-goal advantage had Bakare not given Coulibaly a chance to save his shot moments after. At halftime, it was clear that Agila MSA looked like they were just 45 minutes away from claiming their first points.
In the second half, Agila kept on penetrating into the Fleet Marine defense with wonderful passing and movement amongst their players. To start the half, Sajko failed to convert on both of his two chances that took place in the period’s first five minutes. Aware that Fleet Marine can make a game out of what seemed as an impending win for them, Agila MSA scored a goal courtesy of a wonderfully worked sequence. Sajko fed Roxas the ball inside the box. Swarmed by orange shirts, Roxas then drifted the pass to Bakare who expertly scored his team’s fourth. Fleet Marine sought to make the most of their breaks count. In the following minute, Gerard Brown’s effort from just outside the box was saved to keep the score at 4-0. Afterwards, Agila MSA pressed for more until they scored their fifth that came at the 69th minute. From a defending position, Losseni Kone went into the box before striking the ball into the net in stunning fashion.
Down by five, Fleet Marine tried to score at least once in order to make the defeat less damaging as it would have been. Roberto Cabural and Brown were off target after finding time and space to breach the Agila MSA goal. They did have one golden chance late in the game. With two minutes to go, deputy goalkeeper Rolando Cabañiero fouled Mohammed Diallo inside the box. The Agila MSA goalie atoned for his mistake, however, by denying Cabural and Fleet Marine FC a consolation goal.
Racking up three points out of the possible nine with still three more up for grabs, Agila MSA still have their eyes in reaching the quarterfinals. “They played very well today. They are determined to win today because had we lost, we’re [in for] nothing. We need to win so we’re [still] in [the race] for the quarterfinals,” said Agila MSA coach Richard Leyble. For them to get there though, Agila MSA would have to win their last game against Team Socceroo next Sunday, at 4PM. That positive result also has to be paired by a Team Socceroo win against Pachanga-Diliman FC, which is taking place as of press time. On the other hand, last-placed Fleet Marine have played all of their UFL Cup matches not getting any points off those, scoring just once while enduring 22 goals scored against them.