Monday, October 08, 2012

Jaguars rule Cesafi

AFTER misfiring for most of the match, Junjun Pintuan finally broke through in extra time to lead former champion University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. college football crown, 1-0, over the University of San Carlos at the packed Cebu City Sports Center last night.

Earlier, Pintuan had at least four great chances to get the Jaguars past the Warriors, but he was foiled once by USC keeper Leonard Tan, while a mistimed header and a poorly taken chip failed to challenge Tan.

The Warriors started the match on a strong note, taking the initiative against the Jaguars but the game was delayed for at least 15 minutes when Pomposo Atillo dislocated his elbow.  The absence of the required stretcher led to the delay of the match.

When it was resumed, Karl Arcenas got the first chance in the 27th but a header was caught by USJ-R keeper Joel Cahilig.  In the 30th, USJ-R got their best chance but the shot off a rebound sailed wide.

In the 39th, USC caught USJ-R sleeping in the counter, only to be foiled by Cahilig before Pintuan found the back of the net in the 41st, but referee Ruben Remedios waived it off for a foul.

In the 49th, USC got its best chance but Arcenas’ teasing 30-yard free kick forced Cahilig to a punch save. 

While USC started strong, it was USJ-R who finished on a high note, with Pintuan taking turns with Agapito Baclalan and Gibb Lester Agravante to harass the tired USC defense only to be foiled by their poor finishing.

On the other hand, USC failed to get anything going late in the match as they were called for offside four times and the two teams battled to a scoreless draw in regulation.

Pintuan’s first minute strike in extension was all that was needed for the title, while the USC defense vented its frustration on Baclaan, hammering the poor winger three times in a five-minute span.

USJ-R’s win means that no other team aside from the USJ-R Jaguars, which won the first four Cesafi titles, has been able to defend its title.  After USJ-R won its last crown in 2009, University of Cebu (UC) took the 2010 title and USC won in 2011.

Meanwhile, in the battle for third, UC beat the University of the Visayas, 2-0, with Christian Vazquez and Raymond Torres getting the goals. 

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