After an opening-day loss to Kaya-Iloilo, Maharlika Manila needed to dig deep to barge into the win column of the 2022 Copa Paulino Alcantara.
At the back of goals from Jean and Miggy Clarino and despite being down to 10 players, Maharlika earned a 2-1 win over Mendiola 1991, Monday evening at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
It was an action-filled match right from the first whistle. Maharlika skipper David Basa saw his afternoon end as early as the 8th minute due to an injury. Maharlika then found themselves down to 10 men at the 42nd minute after MJ Libre received two yellow cards for fouls on Mendiola’s Jimson Crestal and Franco dela Torre.
With the numerical advantage, Mendiola wasted no time to put it to good use and draw first blood. Captain Jim Ashley Flores received the ball from Mariano Suba Jr and the former made no mistake to score past Maharlika goalie Henri Bandeken Fong at the 44th minute.
Down a goal during the break, Maharlika found a way to get themselves back in the game. Jean Clarino was brought on for Joseph Alas and the former University of Santo Tomas star headed the ball in from a corner at the 50th minute.
Maharlika’s afternoon then got better come the 77th minute. Off a ball from Charlie Beaton, Miggy Clarino performed a fine finish to score past Mendiola goalie Michael Asong to give his side the precious lead.
The result means Maharlika now has 3 points in the elimination round after two matches while Mendiola hopes to bounce back in its next assignment.
Maharlika resumes its campaign against United City Football Club on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 5:00 PM. On the other hand, Mendiola shall go up against the Azkals Development Team on Monday, March 28, 2022, at 4:00 PM. Both games will take place at the PFF National Training Center.
Maharlika Manila XI: Bandeken Fong (GK), Lawless, Yuhico, M. Clarino, J. Clarino, Simms, Basa ©, Alas, Sungmin, Moudang, Menzi.
Mendiola 1991: Asong (GK), Wade, Minsu, De La Torre, Flores ©, Hajimahdi, Salilig, Crestal, Suba Jr, Manlapas, Zabala.