Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pachanga-Global: Angel in the outfield

Franco Borromeo, who once played for current Pachanga assistant coach Marjo Allado in UST, scores the equalizer for Global with a fantastic volley off a Angel Guirado free kick. Photo by Brosi Gonzales.

Angel in the outfield
Angel Guirado’s timely entry rescues Global FC from the jaws of defeat against a superb Pachanga side.
by rick olivares

October 23, 2011
University of Makati
With Pachanga on the verge of knocking Global FC out of the UFL Cup, the defending champions had a little Divine inspiration to spark a comeback and a valuable point.

Angel Guirado entered the match in the second half with the Red Phoenix leading Global 2-nil after superb finishes by Joven Bedic and Neckson Leonora.

Not fully recovered from a leg injury that rendered him unable to compete in the Philippine National Team’s matches in the Long Teng Cup and the recent international friendly with Nepal, Guirado, suiting up for Global for the first time, seemed bothered by the muddy pitch. As the game wore on, the Fil-Spaniard’s pace, dribbling skills, and inspired runs galvanized the defending champions. Repeatedly beating defenders thrown at him, Guirado found teammates for shots on goal and his free kicks had Pachanga reeling.

His 30-yard free kick in the 71st minute went straight at the Red Phoenix keeper Mark Sorongon who was unable hold on to the ball. Striker Izzo El Habbib immediately swopped in to boot the ball past the fallen Sorongon to pull back one goal.

With a minute to full time, Guirado sent another 30-yard free kick to an unmarked Franco Borromeo who rose high in the air for a fantastic volley that found the back of the net for the equalizer that gave Global a precious point that they would need in the absence of a win in the tournament.

The top two teams from the group competition advance along the two best third place squads. In the tough Group C, the cup’s group of death, Stallion FC leads the way with six points while both Pachanga and Global have four while Cebu Queen City United is at the bottom with two losses. But the Red Phoneix have a chance to top their group as they have a game at hand next week when they face a Cebu team that has been pummeled with 11 goals.

The muddied University of Makati pitch reduced the precision games of both squads to opportunistic sorties where players hoped to capitalize on the mistakes of the other team. Pachanga made the most out of that, first with a cold blooded finish by Bedic in the 50th minute off a cross by midfielder Shirmar Felongco and second, exactly 20 minutes later when Leonora’s quick turn against two defenders netted his side a second goal.

After El Habbib’s poached goal, Pachanga had a superb opportunity to add a third goal and drive the nail on Global’s coffin when Pascual fouled striker Mohamad Farah inside the box.

But Oussey Diop’s spot kick went wide.

The miss was crucial and Pachanga team owner Freddy Gonzalez, watching the game in the stands muttered, “I hope we do not pay for that.”

Minutes later, Guirado targeted Borromeo for that wondrous finish that should go down as one of the tournament’s best goals if not the best.

With Global pressuring Pachanga’s defense that was buckling in places, the raids by wingman William Guerridon were just as crucial to Guirado’s Beckham-esque boot. Guerridon repeatedly ran at left back Jalsor Soriano that also drew the attention of central back Yves Ashime. Repeatedly tackled, Global’s free kicks were landing dangerously close.

With the game in its late stages, Ashime at times single-handedly turned back one attack after another, but as it is in football, lapses could kill a team.

The Red Phoenix for the most part looked to avenge their 1-nil semifinals loss to Global during the Smart Club Championships. “That was a different team,” said Pachanga assistant coach Alvin Ocampo. “We were always on the defensive in that game. We now have a better and more competitive team.”

Pachanga was also without head coach Norman Fegidero Jr. who remained in Bacolod as his West Negros University Mustangs had a match. But the former national player and coach remained in constant touch with assistant Marjo Allado and Ocampo.

Global FC head coach Graeme MacKinnon was happy for the result. “Losing was not an option here. When we went down by two goals, our mantra was, ‘let’s get one goal back at a time.’ There were still 20 minutes to play and we felt that our constant attacks were placing a lot of pressure on their defense. The poor field had cost both our teams a lot of mistakes and we hoped that the pressure would force Pachanga into a few of their own.”

Dan Palami, Global’s team manager and occasional player, lauded Guirado’s efforts. “Now that is why he is on the national team. He is a game changer. The quality of local football is improving by leaps and bounds. I hope that our football officials will also invest in the same for our officials and our pitches. The officiating could use some work and it is very evident that we need an all-weather pitch. But it was a well-played game and I do not want to take anything away from Pachanga as they were much better than we expected.”

“It was a good result for us,” simply said Allado. “We saw our lapses and we are in a fortunate position to correct them before we play Cebu.”

Notes: Pachanga defender Neckson Leonora will miss Pachanga’s next match due to two cautions. But he will be on national team duty for the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.

1 comment:

  1. Nice read! Sayang, hindi na televised live. Sana kahit man lng replay. I hope you could extend our request to AKTV, to at least air one live game on Sunday or one replay of crucial matches held outside Saturday.