Photo by pff.org
The U-22 National Team going to the SEA Games just sent out a warning shot to their opponents in the football tilt, by way of their opening game in the 2019 Copa Paulino Alcantara, as they upset Green Archers United 1-0 at the Aboitiz Pitch in Lipa City earlier today.
The Archers set their stall early playing their brand of flowing yet defensively sound football, testing their chances several times during a cagey first half. Fritz Brigoli and Anthony Pinthus were a magnificent defensive connection, though, the erstwhile Global-Makati midfielder proving a revelation as a centerback in marshaling his backline, and the Switzerland-raised netminder showing no fear in coming in for probing Archer balls into the box. Pinthus also displayed an uncanny ability to place the ball right at the feet of his attacking triad, as Chima Uzoka ran rings around his matchup on the left flank and Jarvey Gayoso got his share of good balls on the opposing flank, with Troy Limbo getting good opportunities. The game would not turn however until after the half, as the impressive Uzoka skied for a corner 5 minutes after the break from a sweetly-struck Jerome Marzan corner and placed it top-corner past a gamely stretched Henri Fong Bandeken to put the Young Azkals ahead, and ultimately prove decisive. The Archers launched several more fusillades trying to chase the point, but Pinthus proved equal to the task, as the U-22 National Team get off to a good start in their Copa campaign/preparation for the Games.
*WHAT’S UP NEXT*
Group A resumes hostilities on Wednesday as the Young Azkals battle the Philippine Champions Ceres-Negros in Biñan. Meanwhile, the suddenly perilous Cup run for the Archers continues with a crucial clash with Mendiola in Lipa. Both games kick off at 4pm.