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It’s Manila Day: Manila Jeepney upsets Stallion for second straight win

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Picking up from where they left off in their previous match, Manila Jeepney FC notched their second consecutive victory in the ongoing second round of the 2015 United Football League (UFL), 3-2, against Stallion FC, Wednesday, June 24, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

It was a see-saw battle for both teams, as they tried to score early in the first half. Ruben Doctora had an attempt for Stallion in the second minute, but it was just blocked for a corner. The former national member had another run two minutes after, only to be called for offside. On the other hand, Koffi Kouassi had two chances for the white-shirts, which the opposing defense dealt with easily. At the 10th minute mark, however, Manila Jeepney breached this same wall when Gary Epesso connected to Eric Ben Giganto for the opening goal.

A few minutes from the restart, Epesso fired a cross from the top of the box, which the home side’s keeper RJ Joyel collected. Manila Jeepney continued to control the possession and the attack. At the 16th minute, Kouassi received a through pass from the center and fired a shot from just outside the penalty area for his team’s second. Despite the lead, Jeepney kept their aggression with Val Jurao, who almost joined the scoring parade at the 22nd minute, if only he had a decent touch on the ball.

Eight minutes from this Jurao attempt, the away side got a goal back. Jordan Mintah scored on his second opportunity as he was able to weave through the backline of Manila Jeepney. The goal awakened Stallion, and the higher-seeds pushed for an equalizer in extension time. Mintah and Doctora found the goal at their mercy only to be denied by the posts twice as halftime is called.

The Stallions continued on their search for a leveling goal at the start of the second period. Moreover, there were two consecutive attempts by Emmanuel Mbata that did not find the back of the net. Mbata’s team then wasted two free kick opportunities at the 64th and 66th minutes. Manila Jeepney retaliated as Giganto knocked in his second goal of the match at the 73rd minute off a scuffle near the penalty spot. Manila Jeepney kept the ball in their possession, preventing any chance for the green-shirts to score. Kouassi had a chance to put the final touches on the impending win for his squad, but he misfired on the shot. A last minute goal from Doctora for Stallion, however, could not dampen the upset victory for the rising Manila Jeepney team.

Manila Jeepney’s Giganto remarked that his team, most of which are part of the Far Eastern University, works to their advantage. Giganto also shared that they need to work harder, as teams will finally look out for them in the coming matches. The prolific striker said, “Magte-train lang kami. Kung ano ‘yung pinapagawa ni Master Kim, gagawin namin.”

Stallion will try to bounce back on Monday, June 29, against Team Socceroo. Meanwhile, Manila Jeepney will test their mettle against Green Archers United on Saturday, June 27.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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