MANILA -- Negros Occidental Football Association players proved their superiority anew over their counterparts from Iloilo when they outclassed them, 5-3, in the Western Visayas Classic held Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Negros - Iloilo match, organized by the United Football League, preceded the All-Filipino vs. Rest Of the World game, which the foreign players won, 5-4.
San Carlos City native Gerardo Valmayor III keyed the Negros win with three markers, including the icebreaker on the seventh minute.
He was named most valuable player for the NOFA team with Ian Araneta, who booted two of the Ilonggos' markers, taking the same honors for the Iloilo squad.
Adding luster to the Negrenses win was goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano, native of Bago City, who brilliantly saved six goals on target by the Ilonggos.
"This could be the start of a renewed Negros and Iloilo rivalry," said James Dinsay of Ceres-La Salle FC, who was tasked to mentor the NOFA squad for his first UFL-sanctioned coaching experience as Ceres-La Salle FC coach Ali Go mentored the Philippine squad in the second game.
The Negros and Iloilo squads were composed mostly of UFL and a couple of varsity standouts.
UFL club players were selected for the Philippine team, which included Fil-foreign booters, while the World team was composed of league expatriates.
Araneta quickly equalized the score two minutes after Valmayor's initial marker, but Green Archer Jemuel Ariola of Pontevedra connected a twinner nine minutes apart -- on the 26th and 35th minutes -- for the yellow-clad NOFA booters' 3-1 advantage at halftime.
With Ilonggo soccer pride at stake, the Iloilo squad mounted an aggressive second-half attack to equalize the score with Araneta's second msrker on the 55th and Jesus Joaquin Melliza's 68th minute goal as the Negrenses visibly relaxed in the early going of the second canto.
"The boys played a good first-half game despite practicing for the match for just one time, but I challenged them to restore their momentum amid the Ilonggos' attacks," Dinsay said.
Valmayor, a Pachanga FC player, then took control of the NOFA offensive by scoring his second and third markers on the 80 th and 84 th minute.
I just wanted to help the team win, he said on his recharged efforts toward whistle time.
Go attributed the Negrense victory to a better teamwork of younger players who have played together for a long time, adding that it was apparent that the Ilonggos lost steam in the final minutes of the game.
Ceres-La Salle player Nate Burkey scored a marker -- on penalty kick on the 86 th minute for the Filipino squad, after the World team overcame an early nil-1 goal output.
Misagh Bahadoran scored first for the Filipinos -- - on the 7th, to give the crowd of about 2,000 some moments of jubilation.
Both teams foiled offense attempts midway in the first canto.
David Icardo, however, made it 1-all at halfime with his marker on the 45th.
Senegalese Robert Lopez Mendy turned the tide for the foreigners with his 5 th -minute goal but Simone Rota equalized the score two minutes later and the expats answered back with second and third goals on the 82nd and 84th after Louis Maxwell Clark connected on the 78th.
Anton Del Rosario capped the Filipinos foiled campaign with a 90th-minute goal.*AVDC
back to top