Playing without leading scorer, Robert Lopez-Mendy, the Green Archers United FC (GAU) made quick work of Team Socceroo FC, 4-0, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. The win marks their fourth straight in the second round of the United Football League (UFL) Division 1 tournament.
The match started slow for both teams as GAU and Team Socceroo struggled to get the ball to their respective attacking thirds. It was the Archers who broke the deadlock at the 13th minute, when Alexandro Elanar found a waiting Manuel Chaffort inside the box. The frenchman made the most out of the opportunity and volleyed the ball past the outstretched arms of Team Socceroo Goalkeeper, Baba Sampana.
The complexion of the game swung in favor of the boys in white after the goal. Just seven minutes after the goal, Green Archers Defender, William Ebanda, linked with his rushing teammate Tating Pasilan. The San Carlos native had enough space and launched the ball towards Sampana. It was the goalkeeper, however, who would not be denied this time, and deflected the ball out of harm’s way. The deflection proved to be an important one as it led Team Socceroo’s Forward, Jerome Cuyos, to find enough space on the other side of the pitch to shoot. Unfortunately for the striker, Green Archers Goalkeeper, Paolo Pascual, was ready for the shot and effortlessly corralled the ball.
Despite the defensive lapse, the Rodolfo Alicante’s squad continued to threaten the Socceroo defense and relentlessly blasted the ball towards Baba Sampana and the goal. Moreover, the aggression almost proved to be costly for the Archers at the 43rd minute. Socceroo Midfielder, Alu Kigbu, broke through GAU’s high backline and sent the ball towards his colleague Ryan Fermin, who was on standby inside the penalty box. Before the UP mainstay could shoot, however, a scuffle for the ball ensued and proved too much for the men in blue, as the ball ended up in the dependable hands of Pascual. The consequent counterattack almost gave the Archers their second goal as Pascual sent the ball to Winger, Jovanie “Manok” Simpron, who then sent it to a cutting Jimuel Ariola. The Negrense was able to out run Socceroo’s last man, Sampana, but not his defenders nearby, and sadly, lost the ball. The half ended in favor of GAU, 1-0.
The second half opened with Team Socceroo getting two straight chances to draw level, but the attempts from Cuyos and Kigbu were not enough bother Pascual. From then on, the Archers took control of the game, but was only able to pad on the lead in the 67th minute, when U23 mainstay, Kennedy Uzoka, cleanly passed the ball to Ronnie Aguisanda just outside the box. With space, the midfielder simply sent the ball rolling into the back of net to the dismay of the Socceroo defense.
Ahead by two, the Archers did not stop hounding Socceroo. The boys in blue finally lost their hold of the defense conceding two quick goals two minutes before the final whistle was blown. Manok gave the Archers their third goal at the 88th minute, while Reynald Villareal gave them their fourth and final goal during added time.
Green Archers United Head Coach, Rodolfo Alicante was elated with the win, but feels wary of the coming matches. “Of course masaya. Maganda yung feeling na tuloy tuloy na ‘yung game namin, but the last four games are tough games. Ito ‘yung apat na teams na nasa top sa league so we need to prepare,” he explained. Coach Alicante and his boys will now prepare for the top-seeded team Ceres-La Salle FC on Wednesday, July 15. Team Socceroo on the otherhand, will face Global FC on the same day.