BINAN - STALLION Laguna FC found unlikely heroes in substitute Rio
Tamiya and defender Thomert Nana to subdue Loyola Meralco Spark FC,
2-0, in extra time on Friday and lift the Stallion Invitational Cup at
the Binan Football Stadium here.
After being thoroughly dominated by the Sparks in the first half, the
hosts found their groove in the second half and reverted to their
usual game in capping a four-game sweep of their matches on the way
clinching the pre-season tournament in style.
Coming off the bench, Tamiya pounced on Loyola goalkeeper Ricardo
Padilla’s lapse, fumbling Matthew Nierras’s shot, with the Japanese
calmly slotting it in for the icebreaker in the 105th minute of the
event backed by Belmont Hotel and Resort, Pythos, Star, Nixare,
Philippine Airlines and Smile 8 Photography.
Apparently upset for allowing the Japanese striker to slip through his
defense, Loyola’s Serbian defender Milan Nikolic was booked for a
second yellow card, reducing them to 10 men the rest of the way.
Then from out of nowhere. Nana came galloping from right wing,
breaking away from his defenders to seal the game in the 120th minute
of the event also backed by the Binan City government led by Mayor Mer
“We were dominated by Loyola in the first half, but we were able to
make adjustments in the second half and get back into the game,” said
Stallion head coach Ernie Nierras after the grinding marathon match
mostly played under a scorching summer sun. “Our substitutes also
stepped up when they were called in.
“We were able to play what we wanted, which is to run and pass, run
and pass. This victory is a good way for us to start the year. ”
Nierras also cited former FEU standout and rookie Jhanjhan Melissa,
skipper Matthew Nierras, Filipino-American midfielder David Kamau, who
came off the bench in the second half for ailing defender Sammy Bonet,
Joshua Beloya and Yuki Versoza for their solid performances.
The Stallion coach was also proud the way his footballers played
despite the absence of Ruben Doctora and Nathan Alquiros, both
injured, and Fitch Arboleda, who has been tapped for the Azkals, the
national men’s squad.
“We would like to congratulate Stallion for never giving up. Their
victory is well-deserved,” said Loyola FC coach Aris Caslib. “This was
also a test of character for my team.”
Under a scorching summer sun, the Sparks were dominant in the first
half as the Stallion booters looked sloppy on both defense and
Loyola had 68 percent ball possession compared to Stallion’s 32
percent, based on the statistics.
The charges of coach Aris Caslib also had more shots (4-2), including
a dangerous open volley from Cameroon’s Maxime Ziepop in the 31st
minute that was tipped out by Stallion Ivorian goalie Roland Sadia.
After being scolded by assistant coach Richard Leyble at the break,
the Stallion booters were more animated and organized in the second
half, nearly scoring a goal in the 63rd minute through winger Nobu
Mori, one of several Japanese players trying out for the squad.
Sadia practically had his hands full in the second half as Loyola
picked up the pace and kept on pressing on the attack, coming up with
timely saves to hold off their rivals until it ended in a scoreless
standoff at the end of regulation.
The matches in the Stallion Invitational Cup can be seen on
www.stallionfcphil.com/live, which was also the first tournament to
be aired live locally through video streaming, including a birds-eye
view of the games using state-of-the-art aerial drones.
Stallions LIVE Broadcast
Stallion Football Team Philippines
Published last: 2017-03-28 07:54:11