CARMONA, CAVITE — In a fiercely-contested fixture to kick off the 2020 Philippines Football League sponsored by Qatar Airways, United City emerged victorious with a 1-0 squeaker over the Azkals Development Team, Wednesday at the PFF National Training Center.
Despite the long hiatus of football in the country, both United City and the ADT made it a competitive contest right from the first whistle.
UCFC’s veterans bombarded their younger opponents in search of the first goal. Still, the latter showed that they can stand toe-to-toe with one of the top teams of the division.
It took Mike Ott’s fantastic strike from outside the box in the 25th minute for Muescan’s men to finally find some separation from the ADT. The longshot was the tournament’s first goal — and what a way to break the ice for the season.
“For sure, it was intense,” said Mike Ott. “I think it’s always nice to score a goal and… help the team win.”
Come the second half, Robert Lopez Mendy had a sniff at goal, but his header went straight to the ADT goalie. At the other end, ADT’s Lance Ocampo was through on goal but United City goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus quelled the danger quickly.
There was also late drama in the match deep in the second half. United City midfielder Manny Ott was sent off for a bad tackle on ADT midfielder Troy Lyngbo.
Pinthus then had to be sharp to parry away Ocampo’s header and Carlo Dorin’s volley near the end.
“We give credit to the ADT. They did their best. They were so resilient and they gave their all until the end,” said United City coach Frank Muescan.
Both teams shall next play on October 31, 2020. United City (3 points) plays Mendiola at 4:30 PM. The ADT (0 points) then go up against Kaya-Iloilo afterwards at 8:00 PM.