It rained a lot in Biñan Football Stadium but it didn’t stop Dan Padernal’s side as they marched on to their first victory in the season at the expense of the gritty Philippine Air Force FC.
The first meeting between these two teams ended in a draw when Mendiola FC 1991 hosted PAF at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona,Cavite and it’s quite expected the they will breathe on each other’s necks to get their first three points in the bag.
Padernal’s instructions before kick-off shown a clear intention to go out for the kill as he wanted them to go out on a 4-3-3 high pressing formation and score a goal in the first 15 minutes of the match.
“It worked, right?” said Padernal whose smile is evident after their first hard-earned win of the season.
As both teams start to feel each other out, Hamed Hajimehdi put the visitors in the driver’s seat on the third minute. Roberto Corsame Jr. sent a long ball supposedly for Jim Ashley Flores but the skipper saw himself offside and let the ball bounce towards the flashy midfielder’s path. Hajimehdi then went past the keeper to slot his first goal of the season.
It took some time for PAF to find some realistic chance against Mendiola and it came on the 39th minute when Yanti Barsales tried to curl the ball past Lendon Clores to the top left corner of the goal but the keeper pulled off an awesome save to keep his side in the lead.
Both sides took an extended break during halftime as the heavy rain poured down. The break took about 45 minutes before first referee Linjun Talaver confirmed they can push through with the match.
The brave men of Mendiola continued for their search for the marginal goal in the second half and they found it through Allen Angeles on the 58th minute. He received an incisive pass from their team captain Flores before he taps the ball past Mark Mendome’s legs and into the back of the net.
10 minutes after Angeles’ goal, Mendiola sealed their victory after the skipper, Flores, scored the third goal of the match. Aaron Altiche, who was just introduced into the match two minutes before their third goal, headed the ball to the path of Flores and all he had to do was to guide the ball into the back of the net.
Philippine Air Force FC would pull a goal back through Romeo Martinez Jr. on the 86th minute but it was just a consolation already for the men in blue. Clores thought he had the ball in his grasp but the wet conditions helped the ball slip past him and into the back of the net.
“The team responded positively and they really want to have the three points,” said by Padernal during the post-match presser. “We’re looking for the success of the future of our youth players, our grassroots players, the San Beda Football Program. They have a senior team that can win at a league like this,” he added.
Talking about the rotation of the captain’s armband between him and Altiche, Flores said “Yung paniniwala ko kasi is teamwork talaga eh. I think yung captain’s armband ay nasa akin lang is because I talk.”
They’ll have some time to savour this victory and prepare against Green Archers United on the 17th of July for their second meeting in the league.
Photo Credits by: Philippines Football League