Stallion vs. Sta. Lucia: Civil War or the Laundry game
During the Main Draw for the 2012 UFL Cup, a howl of shock and dismay erupted from the back of Krocodile Bar where members of Stallion and Sta. Lucia were seated. The two football clubs are essentially brother teams with the former playing in Division One while the latter will make its Division Two debut come the league competition.
Both clubs were drawn into Group D along with Army, defending champion Air Force, and Agila which is arguably another group of death outside of Group C that counts Loyola, Pachanga, Nomads, Laos and Mendiola in its bracket play.
When Stallion’s roster increased, it was only logical to put up a second team in order to keep some players from getting stale and losing match fitness. While both clubs practice together, beginning last Saturday, the coaching staffs decided to train separately. “We are all both out to get a win,” pronounced Stallion head coach Ernie Nierras.
Dr. Eu Hyung Pe, who called the shots for Stallion last season, will now be the permanent head coach for Sta. Lucia.
The Korean coach isn’t the only one who crossed sides. There are former players Nathan Alquiros, Seong Baek, Tomy Escoltero, Ronie Espinosa, Andres Pinga, Jimmy Vergara, and one Matthew Nierras.
“It’s going to be hard coaching against my son but we will do what we have to do,” added Nierras.
It’s a must win situation for Stallion that has yet to barge into the win column following its shock opening day, 2-0 loss to Army. “It’s our fault. We didn’t play smart,” explained Nierras. “Playing wise we didn’t have the Koreans for the Army game. We did not the normal rotation. Not to take anything away from Army but we lost our heads and lost the game.”
And striker Ruben Doctora Jr. was sent off with a red card making him unavailable for the Sta. Lucia match. Doctora isn’t the only one who will not be available for the match. There’s a possibility that the Koreans who pay for either side will likewise be unavailable as they are out of the country. “That doesn’t mean either side will relax. It will be a well-played and hard-fought match,” explained Nierras.
Three points and tying idle Air Force isn’t the only agenda on either side’s mind. There’s a friendly wager between the two clubs where the losing team will wash the uniforms of the winning team.
“It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it,” quipped Nierras.
The match will be played this Tuesday at 9:15pm at the Marikina Sports Center where it is hoped that it will be the home field of Sta. Lucia as the real estate company is looking to rehabilitate the pitch.