Late Pasilan goal secures Green Archers draw with Kaya
by rick olivares
Tating Pasilan had four breakaway attempts where he was in a superb position to score a goal against Kaya but either he missed the shot or he was turned back by defender Nico Bolzico.
Strike mate Jon Melliza likewise had several opportunities for his own breakaway attempts but likewise met the same fate as Pasilan’s sorties.
But with three minutes left in regulation, Pasilan converted on a pass following an indirect free kick that found a hole underneath the wall the skittered past the arms of Kaya goalkeeper Saba Sedeghi. The goal secured a well-deserved draw for Archers who gamely battled Kaya in a thrilling match on opening day for the 2012 UFL Cup at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Pasilan’s late goal neutralized Kaya’s advantage that was made possible following a Nate Burkey goal in the game’s fifth minute. After a Kaya volley towards the goal, Green Archers keeper Patrick Deyto took flight to corral the ball. The net minder collided with Archers defender Reynald Villareal and the ball landed around teammate Lawrence Ikegwuruka who turned to clar it to safety. Only Ikegwuruka, who last year played central back for Loyola, lost the ball to Burkey who was waiting to poach for a goal.
The Kaya striker stripped Ikegwuruka and fired into an empty net giving the Kala Alvarez-coached side the early advantage.
But last year’s league runners-up were unable to double their advantage as Burkey misfired thrice from close range while new acquisition Dario Dakic flubbed a clear shot that went high and wide late in the game.
Archers in the meantime, refused to fold with midfielders Ayi Nii Aryee and Nikko Villa finding Pasilan and Melliza up front with well-placed long balls. Kaya, running its patented 4-2-3-1 formation under Alvarez, had all sorts of trouble defending the long ball as their holding midfielders – Armand del Rosario and Toshiya Hosoe – and right back Anton del Rosario would link up for the attack but track back slowly on Archers’ counter.
Bolzico, despite towering over Melliza and Pasilan was mostly successful in turning back the two strikers but late in the game, he touched the ball inside the box to prevent the former from booting the ball in past a fallen Sedeghi.
Another long ball had found Melliza but it fell a little ahead of him and close to Kaya defender Masa Omura. The Japanese defender thinking Melliza would not pursue didn’t control the ball right away prompting the Archers striker to steal the ball and drive inside the box. His shot was stopped by Bolzico but as all four – including Sedeghi – collided and fell to the pitch, it was Melliza who was quick to his feet. Bolzico used his hands in pushing the ball towards his goalkeeper prompting referee Rey Ritaga to whistle for an indirect free kick.
Both teams had numerous chances to add to their goal tally but they flubbed their shots. New Kaya midfielder Dario Dakic had an opportunity to put it away for his side when he found himself with the space to shoot with nary a defender in his way. But the Fil-Bosnian from Sweden misfired and the ball sailed harmlessly into the stands behind the goal.
It was a disappointing draw for Kaya that had problems finding the back of the net last season. Even with their new acquisitions, they dominated stretches of the game but lacked in quality finishing. Last season, they dominated Green Archers with a pair of wins in the league.
“Not the result we wanted,” bemoaned defender Anton del Rosario after the match. “We made some mistakes and we paid for it. We’re lucky they didn’t score more or else this would have been a disaster.”
“Good result,” smiled Green Archers coach Rodolfo Alicante after the match. “Tama lang. But we could have won.”