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Marikina upends Cebu in a Copa Goalfest

By Kevin Estrada

CARMONA -- JPV Marikina emulated Stallion Laguna as they also won their opening tiff in the Copa Paulino Alcantara, edging out Global Cebu in a seven-goal shootout in their Group B tie this afternoon in San Lazaro.

Marikina banked on the chemistry of their skipper Atsushi Shimono and prodigal son Takumi Uesato to remain unbeaten against their victims for the sixth straight time this season, turning a bland affair in the first half into a scoring spree in the restart.

And this despite the fact that manager Dan Padernal was suspended for this match, with Frank Muescan did the trick in sending the league's bottom side on the brink of an early exit, avenging their cup defeat which was two years in the making.

Keigo Moriyasu put Voltes ahead in the 27th minute in an acrobatic fashion by firing the ball mid-air into the inside of the left post with his outstretched right boot after being picked out by Tsubasa Suzuki inside the box.

Cebu persevered afterwards and were duly rewarded seven minutes before the break, with Milan Nikolic smahshing the ball home on a Darryl Roberts header for the equalizer.

The script was repeated in the second half when Kennedy Uzoka scored against his former club in the 57th minute to regain Marikina's lead, after a nice build-up from their own half in which he converted Takumi Uesato's feed with his right boot that went past Florencio Badelic.

But the lead would only last for eight minutes, when Darryl Roberts leveled the match from the spot, sending Nelson Gasic the wrong way after Joshua Beloya was pulled down by Lendon Marcojos near the six-yard box.

However, that was the last hurrah for Cebu as Marikina killed off the tie with two quick goals in a six-minute span to regain the lead for good, with Uesato turning provider to Alen Angeles who unleashed a right-footed rocket in the 69th minute.

Then Shimono brushed aside Badelic and fired a tap-in into the empty net in the 75th to get a two-goal cushion, enough for them to survive a late scare when Lee Jeong-min pulled one back from outside the box with four minutes left.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada