|Matu Deportivo players celebrate after taking the win.|
By Dugout Philippines
TAGUIG CITY - Exciting action in Season 3 of Philam Life 7s Football League and inaugural Megaworld 7s Youth League continued on Sunday as teams hit the field for Match Day 3 at the McKinley Hill Stadium.
Defending two-time winners Super Eagles, Season 2 runners-up Ghana FC, and Matu Deportivo shone in the men’s division as they preserved their winning streaks, stretching their unbeaten runs to three matches now in the tournament.
Ghana FC was the most impressive among Day 3 winners as they dominated Futbol Funatics en route their first clean slate of the season, 5-0.
Osman Yakubu scored a brace while Sam Bonney, Junior Sam, and Henoc Dabo each added one goal to the total. Ghana FC has conceded only two goals throughout their entire season so far.
“It’s a really good start for us, three wins in a row. We believe in our players and we know they can carry us in the next games. We prepared for this tournament. All of the teams also prepared well but I think we have the edge,” said Ghana FC team manager Ayi Bimbo.
“It’s a great win. We needed this because we will be facing tougher opponents in the next matches. It was a great team win. We played together and we delivered what was expected of us,” said Junior Sam.
The Super Eagles, meanwhile, fended off Stallion Laguna in a high-scoring affair, 6-3.
Olisa Anene and Ebi Cleopas each had braces in the win, while Ebere Ogochukwu and Elias Ogwu both chipped one goal apiece.
“Stallions is a very strong team. It’s not a team you just take advantage of. I think today, we are fitter, stronger, and more experienced and that’s why we won, but it wasn’t easy for us. We conceded goals and that’s football,” said Super Eagles head coach Danny Kross.
Stallion knotted the count at 2-2 after trailing two goals to none.
In the second half, Stallion pulled closer, trailing just 4-3 before the Super Eagles regained composure and extended the lead to 6-3 towards the end of the match.
“When they came closer and equalized, it was a bit tense. But we just talked and said play this game. We kept attacking and putting pressure,” said Anene.
Matu Deportivo eked out a 3-0 victory over a feisty Tondo FC side in a heated match which definitely looked closer than the final scoreline.
Matu star Nico Bolzico opened the first half with two spectacular goals to put his squad ahead and put pressure on the Tondo side until the end of the match.
“The thing with Tondo is that they play very well, they move very fast, they make you run a lot, so if they are on top, it is very difficult to come back. They know how to play and how to play with each other. Scoring the first goal was our main objective because that was the only way we could get control of the game. It was a tough game but the good thing is we are playing better and better together and we are having more fun and we are getting more organized,” said Bolzico.
Bohemian Sporting Club showcased their best performance of the tournament so far, as they recorded a big 5-2 win over Delimondo-Laro FC.
BSC raced to a 2-0 advantage in the early goings, and it proved to be vital as they were able to assert control of the entire game.
The win saw braces from Farbod Mahmudi and Stephan Wegenaar, while Jason De Jong chipped one more goal.
“In the first half, in the first few minutes, we came out strong, and we put pressure on Laro FC right away. Our midfield, our strikers, they were having a tough time getting the ball from the back, but we scored two quick goals right away. The difference was the start we had in this game against the start we had last week against Real Amigos. That was the key,” said BSC head coach Mikee Carrion. “This is exactly how we want to play every week. We controlled possession. We moved the ball well from side to side. We controlled Laro from the get-go and the boys played really good football today. Little by little, we are picking it up.”
Rounding out Match Day 3 were a couple of thrilling matches which went to penalty shoot-outs.
H&J All Stars ousted Ceres FC, 5-4 in their intense shoot-out after going on a 2-2 deadlock in regulation.
Stephen Eseme Ngoh was the final goal scorer in the penalty round, pushing his troops to victory.
“We really played as a team today compared to the last time. We competed harder and had good team work. We just had to keep the ball in play, pass around, and we worked really hard. I give credit to the team today. We expected that after we led 1-0, they will come back. We just kept playing and we were lucky to equalize before the end of regulation with a second goal,” said one of H&J All Stars’ goal scorer Kennedy Uzoka.
Meanwhile, Real Amigos leaned on the excellent goal keeping of Ogbonna Kelechi, who deflected all three of Superbad’s attempts in the shoot-out part of their match.
Real Amigos then converted the penalty in their third try courtesy of Gerrard Diao Su to seal the 3-2 win after going 2-2 in regulation.
It was Real Amigos’ first win in the season.
“We needed this win today. After our first two losses, we were starting to lose our confidence. We prepared for this game and we know they were also coming from two losses so it was not going to be so easy. But in the end, we were happy with the win. The next games are going to be tough but I think we are going to be ready for it,” said Real Amigos player Lerche Njang.
In the Megaworld 7s Youth League, Bohemian Sporting Club, Kaya Iloilo, and Sugod Malaya made strong impressions in their respective age brackets.
In the U9 division, Bohemian Sporting Club overcame Sugod Malaya (1-0) and Kaya (1-0) for back-to-back close wins this weekend.
Kaya’s U11 and U13 squads tallied clean sheets for two wins each.
Their U11 team edged Bohemian Sporting Club, 1-0 before pulling off a 2-0 win over Futbol Funatics.
Their U13 counterparts shut Bohemian Sporting Club, 2-0 and Futbol Funatics, 2-0. In the U15 division, Sugod Malaya beat Loyola, 3-2, before settling for a 0-0 draw against Kaya B.
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