Former national striker Freddie Gonzalez makes a smashing return in a Pachanga victory
by rick olivares
January 15, 2012
The Turf, BGC
Pachanga opened its UFL Division II campaign with a bang by peppering Agila with 30 shots on goal en route to a 4-0 win at the Turf at the Bonifacio Global City.
The Red Phoenix dominated possession and the midfield in a spectacular display of its vaunted passing game. But unused to the smaller dimensions of the Turf pitch, Pachanga struggled with its finishing.
They finally beat Agila’s valiant keeper Joseph Rodelas in the 31st minute when right midfielder Gino Palomo blasted a perfect through ball by central midfielder Boyet Cañedo.
Agila, reinforced in the January transfer window by some players from brother team Loyola Meralco as they lost half its lineup to the ongoing UAAP men’s football season, tried their best draw level behind former national player Alvin Valeroso and Mark Madrona. With Pachanga sending their wing backs to support the attack, Agila caught Pachanga with a man advantage on the counter on several occasions. But they were unable to score as the Red Phoenix’s captain Yves Ashime repeatedly prevented Valeroso and Madrona from getting off a good shot.
Pachanga finally broke the backs of Agila in the 60th minute when midfielder Oussey Diop collected a deflected shot by Janrick Soriano a few meters from outside the box to volley it home for a 2-nil lead.
Minutes later, matters turned from bad to worse for Agila when former national player and Red Phoenix owner Freddie Gonzalez entered the match to replace striker Jovin Bedic.
Gonzalez who last played competitive football four years ago was inspirational in his return to competitive football. Soon after his entry, he served up a cross that new acquisition Ruffy Llorente blasted home for Pachanga’s third goal. Five minutes before fulltime, Gonzalez this time drove from the left wing where he drew a couple of Agila defenders. Trying to locate forward Anu Farah or midfielder Kross Ubiam, Gonzalez’ tight cross deflected off Agila defender Louie John Valeroso for an own goal that ended the scoring at 4-nil.
“We didn’t adjust right away to the small pitch,” said Pachanga head coach Norman Fegidero Jr. “It took a while for offense to get going. Then the goals came.”
“Did you see our new Spanish import?” he joked referring to Gonzalez who still showed he can play some. “Hindi lang Global ang may Spanish player.”
“I felt old and slow in there,” huffed a relieved and ecstatic Gonzalez. “A few more games and maybe I will be in shape. But it’s good to get that first win.”
Notes: Agila suffered a huge blow when Alvin Valeroso went down with a recurring groin injury. Mark Madrona, who was a fearsome striker for Romblon and UE in regional and UAAP competition struggled as he was off form. Ruffy Llorente’s playing for Pachanga reunites him with his West Negros head coach Nonoy Fegidero and Mustangs teammate Boyet Cañedo and Kenneth Dolloso. Pachanga played minus Mako Sorongon who stayed home in Iloilo due to a death in the family. His brother was fatally shot in an accident over the holidays.