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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

High stakes Sunday football @the UFL

High stakes Sunday football @the UFL
 by rick olivares pic by isko jose/interaksyon

The cast is pretty much set for the knockout stages of the 2012 UFL Cup. Except for Group C.

Due to the inclement weather the metropolis had to put up with two weeks ago, two play dates were postponed and that included the Thursday, October 25 matches that were to pit Loyola and Mendiola and Pachanga against Laos.

Those matches will be re-played on Sunday, November 4, at the University of Makati with the Sparks taking on Mendiola at 7pm while Pachanga takes the field at 9pm.

Loyola, Pachanga, and Nomads are all in the running for the two slots from their group for the next stage of the tourney. Nomads’ 3-0-1 record gives them nine points. They have scored 10 goals but also conceded the same number leaving them with a zero goal difference. That still puts them in danger of being ousted despite their record as Loyola and Pachanga still have that one match to play albeit with a superior goal difference.

The latter two squads both have a 2-0-1 record although the Sparks have a plus-seven goal difference to the plus-three of Pachanga.

Mendiola and Laos will both try to play the spoiler here. Mendiola, in its return to top-flight football following a year-long suspension, have, like Laos, a 0-1-2 record. Of the two, Mendiola has the worst goal difference in the group as they have a minus-eight to Laos’ minus-two.

The Sparks are fully rested for this match unlike the previous week where they went into the third place battle for the 2012 Singapore Cup and they paid for it with a 4-0 loss. Like Pachanga, they are not only looking for the three points but also goals.

A win by both Loyola and Pachanga will see them through regardless of the goals scored. A draw will be fatal to their title aspirations.

Other matches taking place on Sunday will see Team Socceroo play Navy to stay out of the cellar of Group A at the Army Support Command Field (Ascom) at 330pm. Both teams have 0-0-3 records and have yet to find the back of the net. Team Socceroo has the worst goal difference in this tournament as they have allowed opponents 21 goals. Navy has let in only 12, fourth worst in the league after Team Socceroo (21), Dolphins United (17), and Agila (15).

Over at Nomads Sports Club, in another battle of teams out of the running, Sta. Lucia and Air Force, the deposed titlists will take on the second team of Stallion at 830pm. Air Force was shockingly ousted last Tuesday by Stallion, 5-1. That left the reeling military club with a flat 1-1-1 record; the same slate as Sta. Lucia. Air Force has scored only four goals while conceding six. They would love nothing more than to bow out with a win more so against Stallion’s Team B but the latter, while still lacking in cohesion and firepower, looks to lock up Air Force.

One sub-plot to look at for this match is there are two Caligdongs on both sides. Chieffy, long time national player is with Air Force while cousin, Jun, is on Sta. Lucia’s roster. Sta. Lucia still has its Iloilo roots like Air Force. So for the third in four matches for both teams, this one’s for bragging rights back home.

The 2012 UFL Cup knockout stages kick off this Tuesday, November 6.

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