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Mendiola pulls off huge comeback to steal Copa semis spot from U22 Azkals

By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN—Just when everyone thought the U22 Azkals would barge their way to the Copa Paulino Alcantara semifinals after Chima Uzoka went on an early tear, Mendiola came back and stole the Final 4 spot from them.

Mendiola completed a huge comeback to force a 2-2 draw against the U22 Azkals that sent the former to the semis on Wednesday night at the BiƱan Football Stadium.

Uzoka turned on the jets for the U22 Azkals as he put them up, 2-0, after just 17 minutes with his brace.

However, Hamed Hajimahdi got one goal back for Mendiola just before halftime to make things interesting.

Ash Flores then completed the comeback with his 69th minute goal.

Mendiola remained aggressive the rest of the way and even tried to go for the win in hopes of getting the top seed in Group A but to no avail.

Coupled by Ceres Negros' 4-0 win at Green Archers United, Mendiola will settle for the second seed in Group A, which means a semifinal date with Kaya Iloilo on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the U22 Azkals bowed out of the competition that they were utilizing as part of their buildup for the SEA Games.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno