ANS comeback kids win Milo gold

LAST year, the Abellana National School football players were on the outside looking in, barred from joining the Milo Little Olympics.

During the awarding ceremony for football yesterday, all eyes were on them—the champions of the first Milo Little Olympics national finals.

ANS completed a sweep of its games with a workmanlike 6-0 win over Mindanao yesterday to bag the gold medal in secondary football and earn the 30 championship points for the Visayas.

They finished with nine points on three wins, while Mindanao settled for the silver with four on a win and a draw.

Luzon took third place with two points after a draw with NCR in the final game yesterday.

“The boys were really hungry to win the title because last year they were not able to join,” said ANS coach Francis Ramirez. “We got lucky because now that we got to play again, Milo decided to hold a national finals.”

In the first half against Mindanao, that hunger was missing and ANS looked more like they were on a practice match than in a title-clincher.

Mindanao even had the first clear chance after a striker was left inside the box before the defense clamped on him.

First chance

Carlito Abadia Jr. had the first clear shot for ANS but missed three shots inside 15 minutes, while Karlo Cuizon also misfired a lob.

Things got heated in the 18th when a Mindanao striker went down away from the ball--due to a punch according to their camp or due to an unintentional collision while both were running to the open space, according to others.

Referee Vincent Ramos booked Prince Anthony, who protested his innocence, for a yellow card to help cut the tension.

ANS finally got on board in the 29th with James Bacus’ point- blank shot and cranked up their offense in the second.

Abadia’s struck just 40 seconds into the second half off a give-and-go, while Jose Bacunawa, who relieved Abadia in the 40th minute, got in the scoring act in the 43rd. Rafael Estremos made it 4-0 two minutes later.

A change of keepers didn’t stop the binge for Mindanao—Alger Montayre made it 5-0 and Bacunawa scored on a cheeky lob in the last three minutes.

ANS’ victory somehow offset the Sacred Heart School-Jesuit’s loss in the elementary division.

“We were in control for most of the match but our defense failed to mark their men in the final minutes,” said SHS-J coach Lito Ramos.

Isagani Fernandez put the host ahead in the 20th before Jan Frederick Cujogan equalized in the 40th.

In the shootout, SHS-J split its first two shots, while Luzon converted two for its third win and the gold medal.

Visayas settled for the silver on two wins and a loss, while NCR got the bronze with one win.


luckystrike said…
How did Abellana and DBTC fare in the recently-concluded San Carlos City Pintaflores Football Festival (1993 below age group).
Mike Limpag said…
I think DBC won over Abellana in the U17 (?) finals by shootout

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