Goal Line: Global, Loyola score; Kaya coach quits
Kaya coach resigns
MANILA, Philippines - In the wake of a slow start of their league campaign with a 1-0 loss against newcomers Pachanga-Diliman in the opening match of the UFL in its brand new home, the Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill, Kaya FC suffered another blow as its veteran Spanish-Uruguayan coach resigned on Saturday, February 23.
Maor Rozen, who also coached the country's U-19 team, took the helm for Kaya FC late in December last year after former coach Kale Alvarez stepped down from the position.
Rumors of the coach's resignation were confirmed after Santi Araneta, UFL chairman and Kaya FC owner, tweeted the news.
"Maor Rozen has officially tendered his resignation as Coach of Kaya FC. We're grateful for his contributions to the club & we wish him well," Araneta tweeted.
Rozen clarified the reasons for his resignation in a letter he submitted to the Kaya management which was later on posted in the club's official Facebook page and said that the decision was not easy in his 28 years of being a football coach.
"It was my failure not to have been able to extract the best from the players who were part of the roster of the Club, who have a supreme quality as footballers. I take my responsibility thereon," Rozen explained in the statement.
Several reports have mentioned that apart from the mild campaign that the club has taken so far, there were also rumors that the Spanish-Uruguayan coach had misunderstandings with a Kaya player. The player was not named.
Rozen had a 3-1-2 win-loss-draw record in his short stint as Kaya FC coach. The club also finished third in the recently concluded PFF-Smart Championships beating Green Archers United FC, 2-0, and is currently sitting in the 5th and 6th spot tied with Nomads FC.
Global FC (5) - (1) Green Archers United FC
Martinez de Murga 12', El Habbib 15' 56', Reichelt 61', Mv Angeles 84' | Pasilan 50'
Best: Global FC is looking very deadly as it thrashed Green Archers United 5-1 in the first action on Tuesday night, February 19, in McKinley Hill. Three of the five goals of Global came from Azkals playmakers Carli de Murga, Patrick Reichelt and Marvin Angeles while the other two came from their prolific Sudanese striker, Izzo El Habbib.
Global showed their midfield prowess and command of the ball throughout the whole match as De Murga opened the floodgates in a deadly strike at the top of the box while El Habbib added another from a perfectly taken free kick. The other three goals were from beautiful plays with assists from Ben Starosta and Jeff Christiaens that easily eluded the disorganized Green Archers defense.
GAUFC was playing chase throughout the game while resorting to long balls when they get possession with a Tating Pasilan consolation goal at the 50th minute. Global is clearly sending a message in this game that they are determined to defend their title. They, however, have a herculean task of toppling Stallions Sta. Lucia and Loyola Meralco Sparks up top.
Worst: Seems like the hype given to GAUFC after the inclusion of Azkals star Chieffy Caligdong has already been deflated as the leadership and prowess of the talismanic winger has failed to rub off his teammates. GAUFC is currently sitting at the lower end of the table without a win, along with PSG FC, and is in the possibility of a relegation scare if this kind of performance continues the whole season.
GAUFC should think about having a sturdy and steady defense while making their midfield effective as resorting to long balls will not be favorable to them as most of their players lack height.
Kaya FC (0) - (0) Nomads FC
Best: Kaya and Nomads battled bravely against each other to break the deadlock in the league table in their match on Tuesday night but fate seem to think otherwise as both teams fought to a scoreless draw to maintain the stranglehold on the 5th and 6th spot with both six points and same goal difference.
Eighteen-year-old wonder OJ Porteria started off feisty for Kaya but the Nomads' defense was rock solid. Iliff, who had stints in the Vietnamese league, also gave bright spots for Kaya in the wings.
Nomads also has its share of brilliance in the game with the small but incredible Jason Arroyo ushering the Alabang-based squad's midfield and practically running everywhere in the pitch to win some possession. Nomads skipper Randy Musters had a brilliant chance at the last minutes of the match with an open shot inside the penalty area from a Jason Arroyo run. Musters, however, struck heavily and the shot went over the bar.
Loyola Meralco Sparks (4) - (0) Philippine Air Force FC
Mk Hartmann 1' 91', P. Younghusband 52', Gonzalez 77'
Best: Mark Hartmann opened and sealed Loyola Meralco Sparks' historic domination over bitter rivals Philippine Air Force FC in the first match on Thursday in the Emperador Stadium. Mark Hartmann scored what could be the fastest goal in the league's young history at the 1st minute from a floating assist from older brother Matthew Hartmann.
The U-23 standout pressed the clamor for a senior squad call up after dishing two beautiful assists to teammates Phil Younghusband and Freddy Gonzalez before sealing the deal with a sweet injury time goal and grab the lead at the table ahead of Stallions Sta. Lucia. Loyola Meralco Sparks also tasted its first victory against its bitter rivals.
Historically, PAF has been Loyola's main thorn in grabbing major silverware in the local league. Air Force beat Loyola 2-0 in the 2011 UFL Cup then once again defeated them in their second meeting in the league last season that saw the Sparks spiral down the standings after enjoying the lead all season long.
Worst: Philippine Air Force showed a decent game but Loyola just proved that they are too much for a newly revamped squad. With the absence of Chieffy Caligdong and Yanti Barsalles, PAF is currently depending on Azkals veteran striker Ian Araneta to score some points in the league.
The inclusion of fresh faces with the likes of U-23 player Neckson Leonora is still being tested if it will come into fruition. PAF should also refrain from too much physicality in the game, it totally mars the league with cheap plays that will not be beneficial to the development of the competition.
Stallions Sta. Lucia FC (2) - (1) Philippine Army FC
Lee J.Y. 6', Cañas 37' | Brillantes, 49'
Best: Stallions Sta. Lucia is keen on keeping the race on the top of the table against Loyola close with a win against an aging Philippine Army FC. Korean import Lee Jo Young opened the scoring through a beautiful goal at the start of the game while Spanish Joaco Cañas headed a goal from a Jason de Jong corner kick to increase the Ernie Nierras-led team to a 2-0 lead.
Stallions is proving to be very solid in defense and on the attack with skipper Balut Doctora and Spanish Rufo Sanchez leading the offense. Stallions will have to maintain its flawless form and score more goals if it wants to squeak past the goal-scoring exploits of Loyola at the top of the table.
Worst: Philippine Army should stray away from its physical play because it gives them more harm than good. Despite having three seasoned internationals in the team including Azkals goalkeeper Ed Sacapano, Boogie Margarse and Roel Gener, the Army squad looks to be maintaining their brand of literally "physical" play. In one of the scuffles in the game, an Army player was caught extending an elbow against Stallions star Daniel Matsunaga. The Army player was lucky to escape the game without a red card.
Pachanga-Diliman FC (2) - (1) Pasargad FC
Santos 38', Diop 69' | Taher 33' (PK)
Best: Despite missing the services of playmakers Jason Cunliffe and Ian Mariano due to national duties for Guam in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers, Pachanga-Diliman scored an important win against an ailing Pasargad FC to stay in the top four of the league table behind Loyola, Stallions and Global, in the Saturday Division 1 match in the Emperador Stadium.
Down a goal after skipper Diop was caught of a handball inside the penalty area, Pachanga-Diliman still grabbed the W. PSG's Taher converted the penalty that gave the PFF-Smart Championships runner-up the lead in the 33rd minute. Five minutes later, Jose Andoni Santos equalized for Pachanga-Diliman with a beautiful goal and later in the middle of the second half, skipper Diop sealed the win with a goal of his own in the 69th minute.
The game was a high-tempo and exciting one, however, PSG needs to go back to the drawing board and renew their strategy as they now currently sit at the bottom of the table in the first division and might be relegated if the momentum stays this way. - Rappler.com
DIVISION 2 Results:
Union Internacional Manila (3) - (0) Cebu Queen City United FC -- Default win for UIM
Agila FC (3) - (2) Dolphins United FC
Forza FC (2) - (1) Manila All-Japan FC
Philippine Navy FC (2) - (0) Laos FC
Team Socceroo FC (5) - (1) Cimarron FC