Stallion FC capped off their United Football League (UFL) Division 1 tournament campaign on a high note after defeating Pachanga-Diliman FC, 3-1, early Wednesday evening, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
An aggressive Pachanga-Diliman FC greeted Stallion FC in the initial minutes of the match. In just the second minute, Pachanga almost tallied the first goal when Hamed Hajimehdi found a rushing Jinggoy Valmayor inside the box. The former UP Maroon’s shot, however, was easily deflected by Stallion custodian Johann Noetzel. The deflected ball, despite landing in front of Valmayor, was unfortunately sent over the bar. A see-saw battle ensued after, with both teams’ defense holding down their respective forts, with Pachanga showcasing timely clearances, and Stallion consistently bringing the ball to their attacking third. Nevertheless, Stallion would finally end the deadlock at the 38th minute. Pachanga’s Valmayor mistimed his pass to teammate Stephen Permanes, which led Louis Kaole to take the ball and send it to Ruben Doctora inside the box. Having enough space, Doctora sent the ball out of Pachanga Goalkeeper Steve Yambou’s reach and into the back of the net. Trying to immediately take back the goal he caused, Valmayor, in the following play rushed into the penalty box and blasted the ball towards the net, sadly his shot did not meet its intended target. Before the whistle was blown, neither team managed to convert on their chances, and it was Stallion who ended the half ahead of Pachanga, 1-0.
It was a different second half for both teams as Stallion regularly threatened Pachanga Keeper, Yambou, early. Despite the red shirts’ charge, Pachanga was able to force another deadlock at the 60th minute. After a timely clearance by Reuben Silitonga, Permanes received the ball in their attacking third. The Veteran then rushed towards the goal, before he was fouled by Matthew Nierras inside the penalty box. The consequent penalty kick was taken by Hajimehdi, who easily directed the ball into the goal. Pachanga’s celebration however, was short-lived after Stallion Winger Emmanuel Mbata parried their defense and easily tapped the ball past Yambou immediately after the restart, to give his team the lead once more. With a 2-1 lead, Stallion continued to pressure and eventually tallied another goal. After intercepting an awkward clearance by Jed Rances, the ball ended on the right flank where Nathan Alquiros sent a cross inside the box where Mbata was. The Nigerian winger forced his way towards the goal and rolled the ball into the onion bag despite being heavily guarded from both sides.
Now down by two, Pachanga switched gears and tried to get one back. Led by Hajimehdi, Valmayor, and Davide Cortina, Pachanga produced numerous chances at goal, but none threatened the Stallion defense and lead. On the other side of the pitch, it was Azkal Simone Rota, Alquiros, and Mbata who tried to add more to their lead. Both teams tried to score until the final whistle, but both teams were able to hold, and the game ended with a 3-1 score line for the red shirts.
Stallion Head Coach Ernie Nierras was satisfied with how his boys ended the season, “Overall, they did well.” He believes that his team can still do better, but was happy that they were able to sustain a great performance all through out the season.
Stallion finished their UFL campaign with a 10-1-6 Win-Draw-Loss card enough for fifth place. Meanwhile, Pachanga-Diliman FC lands in eighth place, only ahead of Team Socceroo FC.