Division II team JP Voltes FC smothered a vastly inexperienced University of Santo Tomas (UST) FC, 7-0, to take their 2015 United Football League (UFL) Cup opener, Sunday, May 3 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
JP Voltes tested the UST keeper Jose Abraham from the get-go. Just four minutes into the match, Yugo Kobayashi was left unmarked on the wings and slotted the shot over the right side of Abraham for the initial goal, 1-0. In the following play, UST was able to advance the ball but Mikko Mabanag stopped the run, and the JP Voltes midfielder was whistled for a foul. Thomasian defender Ronald Batisla-ong took the consequent free kick, but was dispossessed by the opposing team’s defense. At the seventh minute, the leading team doubled their score when Ryohei Kamon moved past his mark into the box and easily directed the ball into the goal. UST managed to counterattack at the 17th minute when UAAP standout Steven Anotado lost his defenders and was able to shoot off the dribble, but the attempt was a bit off.
The Division II squad continued to punish the UST defense, but were unable to finish in the final third. A cross by Chihiro Noda off a through ball did not reach its intended target; instead, it was collared by Abraham. After 22 minutes, Kobayashi beat the offside trap and tapped the ball out of Abraham’s reach for his second and his team’s third goal. JP Voltes, despite the comfortable lead, continued to show creativity with their offensive sets and peppered the Thomasian backline, but UST withstood the attacks to hold their ground. However, a little more than ten minutes left in the half, an excellent pass from Noda was received by Mabanag, who then crossed the ball to Kamon. The burly striker then flicked the ball into the onion bag to register a brace and pad the lead, 4-0. More chances were taken by the winning side, but their attackers were either shooting long or were called offside. The halftime whistle sounded with JP Voltes leading 4-0.
It was a relatively uneventful start for the second period, as both teams traded possession and aggression. UST showed signs of frustration as they settled for long shots in an attempt to catch JP Voltes off guard. However, it was the Division II mainstays who had a more promising run. Two goals in quick succession opened the floodgates for the winning squad. Kamon punished the back four of UST at the 67th minute as he connected with the back of the net for his hat trick. Just two minutes after, Kobayashi turned around Batisla-ong to slot his own trifecta goal, to push the match out of reach.
The UAAP-based squad had no answers to the onslaught, as it was still JP Voltes who kept on piling the pressure. In the 72nd minute, Mabanag started a build up from the center of the field, but Renando Mantua could not finish. Just seconds after that play, Matua again attempted a shot from way outside the box forcing Abraham to tip the ball out. The persistence paid off for leading team in injury time, when Kobayashi, off a free kick, sent a curving ball pass the wall to keep the rout going, 7-0. Before the final whistle blew, Kobayashi was fouled by Batisla-ong inside the penalty area. This gave Kobayashi an opportunity at a fifth goal, but the shot was too weak and was easily gathered by the UST keeper Abraham. The match and the massacre ended at 7-0 in favor of JP Voltes.
JP Voltes will try to continue their winning ways against Mediola FC on May 9, while UST will test their mettle against group favorite Stallion FC on May 16.
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