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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kaya and Archers serve up a UFL classic in a 3-3 draw

Kaya and Archers serve up a UFL classic in a 3-3 draw

April 23, 2013
Emperador Stadium

For a few days, the Komeback Kids of Kaya will have to share that tag with lads from Green Archers United.

Kaya’s resurrection isn’t miraculous by a long shot given the pedigree and firepower at their disposal. Their early season woes are a distant memory. In the Year of Perkovic, Kaya has earned the sobriquet of “the Komeback Kids.”

Under Australian David Perkovic, they defeated Army 3-0; drew with PSG 2-2; thrashed Air Force, 4-0; came back from two goals down to deal Global its first loss of the season, 3-2; and coming back from an early 1-0 deficit to Pachanga for a draw.

It is Green Archers that is in the midst of a trying season after a stellar Smart Club National Championships performance. But they’re revival begins with Chieffy Caligdong. After all, he scored the stoppage time goal against Nomads to win, 2-1.

After looking like they were going to be thrashed by Stallion, they made a game of it but ultimately fell, 4-3.

Kaya toted a 4-4-2 record while GAU had a 2-1-7 slate going into this match. The last time these two tangled, a fight broke out on the field that saw several players on each side suspended for their action. That match ended in a 2-1 win by Kaya. Mercifully, the only fireworks that were on display for this match were on the field goals.

Kaya attacked from the opening whistle and in the seventh minute, Anton Del Rosario raced up the right wing and quickly forwarded a pass to OJ Porteria. The speedy midfielder sliced through two defenders before finding an open Alu Kigbu inside the box. But the midfielder from Nigeria saw his shot blocked by a defender.

The ball ricocheted outside the box where Anton Ugarte was lurking in case he was needed. Ugarte took one stride and blasted an 18-yard shot that GAU’s excellent keeper, Patrick Deyto, could not stop. One-nil, Kaya, in the ninth minute.

Undaunted, Archers moved forward. Three minutes later, Caligdong dispossessed Chris Greatwich of the ball and immediately launched a long ball to a streaking Jovanie Simpron on the left wing.

Del Rosario slid to trap the ball but missed. The ball bounced once and into Simpron’s fleet feet. With Kaya central back Kross Ubiam closing him down, Simpron fired towards the second post. Kaya goal keeper Nick O’Donnell, making his second start for the club between the sticks, got some fingers on the ball but the shot was powerful enough not to be deflected away. The game was level at the 12th minute mark.

With the battle rejoined, both teams battled for control of the game although possession favored Kaya slightly. However, it was Archers that got the break when Caligdong was the recipient of a pass by forward Jon Melliza who took away the ball from Ubiam near the centerfield line.

Melliza, in his second year with GAU, found a cutting Caligdong. Kaya’s defenders furiously raced back to protect the goal. O’Donnell blocked Caligdong’s first shot but the Kaya keeper collided by defender Logan McDaniel and the ball went back out to the Archers player.

Caligdong slotted the ball home for a 2-1 Archers lead in the 22nd minute.

Kaya threatened but struggled without Fabien Lewis who was suspended due to yellow cards and Masa Omura who was out with an injury. With time running out and Archers holding on defense, Perkovic sent in rookie Carlo Liay to play the holding midfield role. It was a master stroke as it freed up Chris Greatwich to join the attack.

In the 68th minute, Porteria, who has emerged as Kaya’s creative force, slipped a ball to McDaniel inside the box. The 23-year old midfielder-defender from Palmdale, California fired but the ball struck the crossbar. The second ball found its way to Greatwich who had gone forward to join the attack. Greatwich was a step faster than an Archers defender and he fired it towards the far post for the equalizer.

Greatwich’s heroics didn’t look to be done. In the 89th minute, following a long Anton Del Rosario throw in, Archers failed to clear the second ball. McDaniel tried to head the ball in but instead it went to Greatwich who rose in the air and uncorked a bicycle kick for the ages. Three-to-two for Kaya.

The comeback was complete. At least it so seemed but late Archers substitute, Gabe Oloweyeye, in the first minute of the three added to the game, smacked in a long free kick by Dads Pasinabo that struck the crossbar. O’Donnell has strayed a bit off his line and had to back track to get the ball. As the shot hit the crossbar, he was not in position and Oloweyeye took away the three full points from Kaya.

Kaya furiously tried to take back the advantage but Deyto on pure instinct saves shots from super sub Janrick Soriano and Toshi Hosoe to preserve the 3-3 draw.

It was a disconsolate O’Donnell who strode off the pitch after the match as he felt he had left the team down but teammates and team manager Justin Tolentino consoled the Kaya newbie.

“It’s all part of our learning process,” said Tolentino after the match.

No comments:

Post a Comment