Smart National Club championships Day 2

Group A (Cagayan de Oro)
1:30 p.m.  - Laos FC vs. Bao Breakers FC
3:30 p.m. – Teknika FC vs.San Beda FC

Group B (Iloilo) 
3 p.m. – Columbia FC vs. Stallions FC (Barotac Nuevo))
3 p.m. – Baguio United FC vs. Pachanga FC (CPU)
Smart-San Beda's David Fornea (right) strips the ball ball from Laos FC's Angelo Almazan during Group A action in the PFF-Smart Club Championships in Cagayan de Oro last Thursday. Looking on is teammate Phil Younghusband. San Beda won, 1-0, for its second straight win to advance to the event's crossover semifinals.
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Rizal-Smart San Beda FC and Columbia FC-Davao scored stirring 1-0 wins over separate rivals to enter the semifinals of the  PFF-Smart Club Championships last Thursday highlighting football action at the Don Mariano Pelaez  Memorial Sports Complex  here and at the Barotac Nuevo pitch in Iloilo.

San Beda skipper David Franz Fornea tapped in the marginal goal  on a follow-up in the 49th minute off Phil Younghusband’s rebounded header  against Laos FC-Leyte, which was left with nine men on the pitch with the ejection of William Diaz and Nigerian Remy Alain-Sery.

Over in Iloilo, Columbia’s Nur Mentang struck in the 33rd minute with a long shot from the right wing that hit the left goal post and  into the net to stun Pachanga, which looked like the favorite to top Group B following its 2-0 triumph over hometown bet  Stallions FC last Tuesday.

Diaz and Sery got booked with two yellow cards each following  the  testy and physical encounter where four of their teammates and six San Beda players, including Phil Younghusband,  were also slapped yellow  cards.

The two Laos mainstays will  be suspended when the team plays its last game against winless Bao Breakers FC, which absorbed a 0-9 beating at the hands of Teknika earlier, at the close of the Group A elims on Saturday.

“This is why Philippine football won’t progress and you can quote me on that,” said the flustered and frustrated national striker after the game where he was, as expected, a closely marked man again and on the short end of some nasty tackles. “They (Laos) were not sporting,” Younghusband added.

“Certainly it wasn’t pretty,” echoed his teammate and elder brother James, who himself got knocked down from behind in the middle of the second half and lay on the pitch grimacing in pain for a while. He was seen favoring and rubbing his back afterwards.

“Our emotions got the best of us and we lost the mental battle,” noted Laos team manager-coach Jogie Ronda. “We had a good chance of winning (against San Beda) but we let it slip away.”

But there was a light moment in the heated contest soon after Fornea, 20, a candidate to the national Under-23 squad for the Indonesia Southeast Asian Games, scored the winning goal.

To celebrate the marker, he was joined by Phil and two other teammates side-by-side in doing a brief head and hip-shaking dance ala “Walk-Like-An-Egyptian” on the field to the delight of the stadium crowd of 2,000.

With its second straight win, San Beda clinched a slot in the crossover semifinals and can sweep Group A  against dangerous Teknika in another expected action-packed clash on Saturday.

Sudanese Izzeldin El Habbib had four markers (15th, 59th, 70th and 86th minutes) while Ghanian Aye Arye Nil had a hat trick (8th, 43rd and 70th) in powering the NCR booters, who drew with Laos 2-2 last Tuesday,  to their first victory at the expense of the Breakers, who bowed out after their second lopsided loss.

The side of coach Francis Muescan, however, lost  goalie and Azkal reserve  Paolo Pascual, who was evicted from the game in the 74th minute for deliberately fouling Paul Bacotot on a  clear breakaway to the goal and won’t be available for its last match.

The Davaoenos likewise posted their second win in a row to enter the crossover semis starting on Aug. 18 at the University of Makati.

They gun for a sweep against the Stallions, who  banked on former national standout Ruben Doctora’s five-goal rampage to remain in contention by crushing Baguio United,  10-3, in the other match.

Doctora began his flurry in the 5th minute then added four  more in the 11th, 19th, 45th and 63rd. Lee Joo Young (50th), Bervic Italia (53rd), Francis Gustilo (57th), Anton Albor (79th) and Jimmy Vergara (90th) were the Ilonggos’ other scorers.

Mohamad Farah (20th), Homer Alinsog (69th) and Aris Bocalan (82nd) scored for Baguio, which was eliminated following its second consecutive setback.

Apparently anticipating the keen group competition and to  avoid the possibility of game-fixing, Iloilo organizers decided  to schedule the Columbia-Stallions and Baguio-Pachanga matches at 3 p.m. simultaneously at the Barotac Nuevo and Central Philippines University fields, respectively. (PFF Media Bureau)



jonny said…
Why is Columbia FC (Davao)ready for semifinals now ? Stallion FC can beat them in last match and Pachanga will probably win against Baguio United.

Columbia + 4 , 6 points
Stallion + 5 , 3 points
Pachanga + 1 , 3 points
Baguio United Fc -10 , 0 points
Anonymous said…
jonny, as if you're so sure that Stallion can beat Columbia.

let's see this on saturday. it should be a great match.

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