Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fair Play: Aboitiz Cup is perfect time for UFL Home Match

BACK in 2011, I joined a group of fans as we watched, on live TV, and cringed at how Stallion FC ran aground Cebu Queen City United, 8-0, in its final game of the UFL Cup.

There’s no mincing words and it was ugly. Coach Mario Ceniza told me a few weeks after that game that it was the worst beating in his career, one that couldn’t be forgotten.

Back then, one of the commentators of the match asked me how to say “What a great goal!” in Cebuano but he never got to say his practiced line as Cebu limped home without a goal. Not that they didn’t try as poor finishing and the exemplary Stallion defense sealed the shutout.

I think someone joked that whoever scores for Queen City that time would own the most expensive goal in the UFL Cup as the Cebu clib then spent close to P500,000 for airfare alone for the tournament in Manila.

It’s 2013 and three games into the UFL Cup, Cebu Queen City United sits on top of Group c with 7 points on two wins and a draw, scoring 9 goals and allowing three. To say that it has surprised Manila is an understatement.

First to fall was the Philippine Air Force, 3-0, and while impressive, I thought, the relegated PAF isn’t the same team two years ago. Against Bright Star, Cebu managed a 2-2 draw so I knew the Stallion FC game last Oct. 20 was going to be Cebu’s real test.

And the Cebuanos didn’t disappoint, with Junard Aguilar, who works in a bank, hitting twice for a 4-1 win. Sure, this is not the Stallion FC squad that won the UFL Cup and League last year as the club has been hampered by personnel changes but it’s still the Stallion FC.

With the UFL format calling for the top three teams in each of the five groups advancing to the next round, only a miracle can stop Cebu from advancing to the round-of-16.

Cebu will have its final match against Agila on Nov. 5 and it’s on to the knockout phase. I don’t know when would that be as the UFL website doesn’t list a schedule but if there’s one for Nov. 10, I think the league should grant a home game for Cebu Queen City.

It’s the perfect date as it is also the opening of the Aboitiz Cup and all the young football players in Cebu would be there. These players can see what their future would be, should they dream of becoming professionals.

How about that, UFL? Is it time for a home game for Queen City at the Cebu City Sports Center? Just don’t have it televised as it is embarrassing if the rest of the country sees what we’ve done with the field.

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