Green Archers United FC beat defending champions Ceres La Salle FC, 2-1, in the United Football League at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Sunday.
After a dismal performance in the first round of games, the Archers head coach Rodolfo Alicante said that the win was a morale booster for his wards.
“I think our first game for the second round is a big morale booster for the boys to improve our performance toward the end of the season,” he said after the game.
Ceres La Salle subdued the Archers, 7-1 in their initial meeting during the first round of games.
Alicante said that their game plan is to rely on their quick players to initiate counter-attacks, “Actually, that was our strategy. We had to hold them in the middle and play our counter-attack but we still have to improve our passing accuracy to capitalize on our chances.”
Despite being down by a goal early in the game following the penalty conversion of Adrian Gallardo Valdez in the 13th minute, the Archers were able to tie the game, 1-1, at the half courtesy of Hossein Doustdarsefidmazgi.
At the start of the second half, the Green Archers put pressure on the defense of Ceres with a series of attacks led by Chieffy Caligdong and Reynald Villareal.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 73rd minute as Floriano Pasilan Jr., who substituted for Jimmuel Ariola midway through the second, scored a goal to seal the win for his club.
Ceres mounted several attempts before the end of regulation in hopes of eliciting a draw but were unable to pierce through the defense of their foes.
On the other hand, Alicante expressed hopes that the victory will spark a winning run for their side.
“We hope that we can recover from our first round performance. Our gap from the other teams is quite far already because we are at the seventh place,” he said.
With the win, Green Archers United now holds a record of five wins, two draws and five defeats while Ceres remains No. 2 with nine victories, a draw and two losses.
Meanwhile, tenth seed Laos FC held Stallion FC to a 2-2 draw via a late-game rally to clinch their second win of the season during the first game of the day.
Young Azkal Fitch Arboleda and Korean Bae Dong Min scored goals for Stallion FC in the 27th and 56th minutes, respectively, while Patrick Franksson led Laos with a brace performance.