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, February 20, 2012

The UFL weekend February 18 & 19

The UFL weekend February 18 & 19

The rumors of Global’s death as a football power are turning out to be premature. Last season’s first runner-up in the league competition shed Stallion of their mantle of invincibility with a 1-0 win that made the title race all the more interesting.

After absorbing a 3-2 loss to Loyola last February 4, Global hurdled Green Archers United 1-0 before inflicting a loss on the previously undefeated Iloilo-based club. With the win, Global moved up from third place to second with 12 points from four wins in six matches. They also moved up in the plus-goal difference to six.

Stallion on the other hand, got back on the winning track with a 5-2 win over the crumbling Green Archers United 5-2 after the disappointing scoreless draw with Pasargad. And from the opening whistle, it seemed that Stallion was in for a taut and tense dogfight with last year’s first runner-up in league play.

The Dr. Eu Hyung Pe/Ernie Nierras coached club had difficulty in fending off Angel Guirado whose use of the acres of space afforded him contributed to their erstwhile leader’s demise in the match. With the Fil-Spaniard able to feed the ball forward, Misagh Bahadoran and Izzo El Habbib were able to maraud from the wings. Yep, we all know that Angel moves in only one speed but I’ll take his precision passing and heart any day of the week. At least we know that he will pass that ball without hesitation. Unlike others who think that a pass is something you only do at this hot babe at a bar.

In the 57th minute, one of Global’s multitude of crosses found its way (courtesy of William Guerridon) to El Habbib was able to simply essay a short stab for the match’s only goal.

Stallion was not without their chances but almost all of the shots were from distance as they were unable to penetrate Global’s compact back four. When striker Ruben Doctora Jr. entered the match in place of Vince Braga, Stallion’s attack gained form. Doctora’s long-range volley from some 40 meters away that struck the post. But that was the lone decent attempt to beat Paolo Pascual who was resolute in minding the net.

As the match progressed, the Stallion players got a little hot under the collar and leveled Bahadoran a couple of times. Mysteriously, Wilfredo Bermejo, referee for the match, swallowed his whistle on many an occasion. The league needs to review all officiating and to make use of the video technology available because I believe that the technical officials ultimately need to be responsible for the gross ineptitude of the zebras.

The match also claimed a few casualties aside as Doctora suffered a knee injury. “Not serious,” said Nierras after the match and we can only hope so because the football glory-starved masses should not be deprived of Balut’s genius.

Global head coach Graeme MacKinnon tendered his resignation less than 24-hours after the win citing a need to return to his family in Australia. This couldn’t come at a more inopportune time considering they chalked up a huge win. But I want to say that I was watching what was going on in the bench the whole time and I saw it. Trouble is ahead if you ask me. Where to, Global?

The loss by Stallion still kept them in the lead with 13 points if only for another day as Loyola Meralco flexed their Younghusband-powered muscles and crushed punchless Navy 14-0 one day later to reclaim the pole position of the UFL for only the second time this season. How will Navy get attract recruits with all their losing? And it’s not just losing but losing badly.

Kaya also got the three full points they needed to stay within striking distance of the leaders with a 3-nil win over hapless Pasargad. With the win, Kaya got its first multi-goal game since the cup tournament and saw Prince Mark Boley and Nate Burkey notch their first goals of the season.

Pasargad if you ask me is paying for its flawed lineup. No offense and no relief until the March transfer window. Expect other squads to disembowel them unless other players step up their game. It is too much to ask team captain Mansour Mahdadi and goalkeeper Abdollah “The Persian Cat” Golkhah to turn back the repeated attacks. Mistakes are bound to be committed and when Golkhah, normally sure handed, lost the ball (to Eric Dagroh who simply nudged the ball into the goal), Kaya’s drought ended.

Air Force is beginning to feel their wind beneath their wings with a 3-0 pasting of Nomads, another team that needs to up its game.

So how many teams are doing well – Loyola, Stallion, Global, and Kaya. Air Force to some extent as they begin to make their move to the top. The bottom half – Army, Nomads, Pasargad, Green Archers, and Navy are mired in mediocrity and all sorts of problems. Maybe the UFL should also look into relegating two and promoting two. It doesn’t make sense to have only one team go up and go down.

1 comment:

  1. automatic relegation for the last placed team and playoffs for the 8th and 9th against the 2nd and third placed teams of the 2nd div.