UFL: Army topples Team Socceroo; Green Archers – Pasargad ends in draw
MANILA, Philippines – After years of relying only on homegrown talent, the Philippine Army FC enters a new era this 2014 UFL season as they merged with the Korean-laden General Trias United, aiming to shed their tag as the tournament’s whipping boys.
Against Division I newcomer Team Socceroo, the rejigged Army side instantly reaped its biggest win in years as they came out as 4-nil winners on Thursday night, January 16, at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Goals from Woo Song, Shin Seok Jeon, Laurence Bedua, and Gi Won Nam propelled last year’s Division I ninth placers as they opened their 2014 League campaign with an empathic win over a Team Socceroo side that swept all their games in the second tier last season.
Inspired by their new additions that included six Koreans, Philippine Army came out roaring as they put Team Socceroo’s defense to the sword early on, getting themselves rewarded with a 14th minute goal from Woo.
Army then followed it up with another goal less than 10 minutes later as Shin made it 2-0, finding the net off a direct free kick in the 23rd.
Even with Azkals keeper Eduard Sacapano returning to Army this season, it was Seong Wook Hong who started the game on goal as he went on to make some crucial saves that kept Team Socceroo at bay for the rest of first half.
Team Socceroo’s best chance of the night came in the 70th minute when a streaking Jeong Lee found himself chipping the ball to an open goal but Hong did a spectacular effort to stop the shot and keep Army on top by 2 goals.
With Team Socceroo’s frustrations mounting, Bedua put their foes in a deeper hole as he scored a magnificent strike from 10 yards out, 15 minutes to go before the final whistle.
Gi then capped Army’s spectacular night with an 88th minute goal to mint the final score at 4-0 and take the full three points for the Armed Forces side.
It was the biggest win for Army after the 2011 season wherein they finished third but the squad struggled to keep up with all the big-time signings happening all over the league since 2012. Team Socceroo, on the other hand, absorbs their second defeat in as many games to start the league competition at 0-2.
Green Archers, Pasargad settle for draw
After drawing reigning champion Stallion FC on opening day, the Green Archers United’s agony continues as they once again settled for a single point after 90 minutes, drawing Pasargad FC at 1-all.
Simon Bayemeg scored the game’s first goal when he volleyed the ball from outside the box, only 21 minutes into the game.
Reynald Villareal restored parity in the 70th minute as he headed in the equalizer but the Green Archers could not find a way to score the go-ahead goal, ending the match 1-1 to take only their second point on the table.
Philippine Army will next play reigning UFL Cup titlist Loyola Meralco Sparks on Saturday, January 18 while Pasargad faces Global on Tuesday, January 21.
GAU will not see action until next Thursday, January 23 when they go up against Army. Team Socceroo takes on Kaya in the second game. - Rappler.com