Sunday, November 02, 2008

Team Cebu takes third place in San Carlos City

THE Philippine Olympic Festival-bound Team Cebu City Football finished third in the Pintaflores Football Festival in San Carlos City the other day.

A third-place finish may be a respectable achievement, but Coach Mario Ceniza says they still have a lot of work to do if they are to compete with the traditional powerhouse Iloilo in the POF later this year in
Cagayan de Oro City.

Not all members of POF-TCC was able to join the San Carlos City event, while Iloilo sent its full strength squad and eventually defeated San Carlos City Team A, 4-1, to rule the event.

"Condition-wise we are okey but we still have to work on our defense, and offensive movement also.  Grabe ang Iloilo, manglihok tanan," said Ceniza of TCC, which finished second to Don Bosco Victorias in the
elimination round.

TCC started the event with only 15 players and eventually ended their campaign with only 12 after two went home early for personal commitments while Jayphunneh Pelanio got injured.

After finishing second in the group, POF Cebu went to the second group stage and faced Victorias and San Carlos City in their bracket.

After drawing Don Bosco Victorias in their morning game, 1-1, which mirrored their 3-3 draw when the two faced in the first group stage, POF Cebu had the breaks of the game going against them in their second
match against San Carlos City.

A win would have booked the team a place in the finals in Team Cebu City was leading 1-0 when the home squad equalized in controversial fashion.  San Carlos only needed a draw to advance after beating
Victorias in its first game.

"The linesman has already raised his flag because San Carlos City was offside but the referee ignored it and they were able to score," said Ceniza.
POF Cebu got ahead 2-1 again but San Carlos managed to equalize to advance to the finals, where it got routed by Iloilo, 4-1.

In the battle for third, Dumaguete and Team Cebu were tied in regulation, sending the game to penalties.  However, the first kicker of Team Cebu City, while its final four made the mark, but luckily, the last kicker of Dumaguete also bungled his attempt, forcing sudden death.

In the extra penalties, Dumaguete missed its first attempt, while Bran Miles Go converted his shot for the win.

The team, which missed the services of five key players in the event, will still have one more month to prepare for the POF.

"I'm really preparing the team's defense.  Iloilo is really very good, but at least, I've seen their weaknesses, and we already know how to attack them.  We still have one month to prepare," said Ceniza.


ronaldo said...

The ANS-POF reinforcements played for their mother team. It would have been a good gauge on how they will eventually perform with the POF team have they played together at San Carlos. Francis should have let them play with TCC-POF.

Iloilo's movement without the ball was clearly superior than the rest of the teams. 80% of their forward and thru passes where 4-5 strides infront of the receiver. The defenses of the teams they defeated kept backpedaling, leaving their midfield more than enough room to find their wingers and strikers for accurate crosses or clean thru passes. The score wasn't as lopsided as it should have been, as their top players clearly weren't exposed that much by the coaching staff.

Now for the great question - can Team Cebu City beat Iloilo should they meet at the POF ?

Offensively, TCC has more attacking options. It can go to the wings, go deep, control the midfield and get thru passes for it's tall strikers. My worry about TCC is when Iloilo starts getting physical (and this is definitely a certainty). Can TCC prevent themselves from getting pikon ? TCC's players are finnesse players, not boxers. They should keep their composure when the other team gets rough.

My worry defensively is if TCC has the stamina to guard against the Iloilo attack. As mentioned, Iloilo moves and moves and moves. If TCC wingers and midfielders doesn't go down in defense then TCC is in for a long game. If the TCC attacking midfield is slowed by the constant need to help out in defense then there will lie TCC's achilles heel. TCC is shallow at midfield. If TCC gets the lead early, a shift with a defensive half would benifit the team, since it will lessen the defensive burden on the midfielders. Plus, it will put an additional man against the Iloilo middle. But the defensive key for TCC is really to get back on defense, especially their wingers.

roberto said...

good analysis ronaldo. if tcc beat iloilo 2-1 during the qualifiers in dumaguete last july, the tcc ngayon with 4 new players from abellana will be a stronger team and therefore has a good chance of beating iloilo again. game strategy and mental prep for the boys will be key factors.