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.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stallion deals Loyola first loss; moves into first place

Stallion deals Loyola first loss; moves into first place
 by rick olivares

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Emperador Stadium
Stallion dealt Loyola a crushing loss when it came from a one-goal deficit to score three goals in the second half in a thrilling a 4-2 win, Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium.

In a game featuring two of the UFL’s most dynamic scoring forces in Stallion’s Rufo Sanchez and Loyola’s Phil Younghusband, defense had to take a backseat.

True enough, it was Younghusband who struck first for Loyola when he went around Stallion central back Kim Hyo Il for the game’s first goal in the 30th minute.

The prolific Sanchez, however, replied seven minutes later when he blasted in a rebound off a Kim free kick clanged off the first post and ricocheted out. Sanchez took one stride and in one motion kicked in the equalizer with his left foot before Loyola defenders could react.

Stallion didn’t have much time to celebrate as on Loyola’s very next offensive, Jeong Byeong Yeol evaded a tackle by Jovin Bedic then slipped a pass to a cutting Matthew Hartmann on the overlap for a thunderous finish off keeper Guilherme Hasegawa for a 2-1 lead.

After a seemingly slow start by both teams at the reset, Lee Joo Young’s stunning strike from just outside the Loyola box that drew Stallion level dramatically changed the tone of the match.

In the 57th minute, Stallion midfielder Hector Zaghi, playing perhaps his best match thus far, slipped a pass through Sparks defenders PJ Fadrigalan and Rodrigue Nembot to a cutting Sanchez. Before Chad Gould could close him down inside the box, the Spaniard finished this time with the right boot towards the second post for an incredible 3-2 lead.

Loyola’s offense further took a dip when Jeong went out with an injury in the 72nd minute. The Sparks caught a break when Stallion midfielder Bervic Italia was sent off for accumulating two yellow cards. But they could not make any headway on the attack. The had two excellent chances to equalize but Matthew Hartmann and James Younghusband were unable to finish of a well-time runs and well-placed crosses.

James Younghusband was later sent off for dissent leaving both squads with 10 men on the pitch.

Stallion claimed a crucial fourth goal in the match’s dying minutes when late sub Nathan Alquiros booted in a cross by Lee Joo Young in the 97th minute to peg the final score at 4-2.

The win vaulted Stallion to first place in the standings with an 8-0-1 record over idle Global that has a game at hand. Loyola fell to third with a 6-2-1 slate.

My take: This is undoubtedly a huge win for Stallion and a huge loss for Loyola. It is time to give props on what Hector Zaghi brings to the table. He showed promise with Team Socceroo two years ago and was looking to showcase his wares with Pachanga before the team was sold. That team was really struggling with parts that did not fit and coaching that did not work. Now with Stallion, given the playing time, he has helped Stallion. I’d say right now, he’s an underrated player as the attention goes to Rufo Sanchez, Ruben Doctor, and to an extent Lee Joo Young (can I throw in Daniel Matsunaga).

But Rufo Sanchez. Against Global, Jerry Barbaso had a tough day at the office (never see him have to go through that) that Sanchez had to be double or even triple teamed. But he would still get off some good shots.

Against Loyola, he was difficult to guard. He can back off his man, then is quick on the turn. He knows when to dribble or when to fire away. Even his passes are accurate.

The best player in the UFL right now? For sure.

Loyola. One year ago, their problem was the right back side. Now it’s the left back position. Roxy Dorlas is solid over there. I am just not a fan of their midfield defense that leaves him having to watch two attackers. Two goals were scored form this side once more (and as I recall so did the Kaya and Global goals come from there).

Matthew Hartmann and Simon Greatwich continue to play well. Jeong is a terrific player and maybe the third-best player on the team right now and his going out killed their offense with the others not functioning. But as I said and have written all season long, where Mark Hartmann goes so does Loyola. The younger of the Hartmann brothers and James Younghusband hardly had an impact on the game and that had to hurt.

Two draws and a loss? Should be a quota for them in terms of dropped points. Another loss or a draw could derail them. 


  1. I think Simon Greatwich was ineffective just like the Global game. He got burned by Rufo (nutmegged thrice!). I don't know why Meralco coach does not give Jake Morallo game time this season. He was effective last season. JYH has been poor this season. Kulang ng leadership ang Meralco. A player who can stabilize the team.

    I have to agree that Rufo Sanchez is currently the best player in the UFL.

  2. I don't think being nutmegged means that you were ineffective. Only one goal came from Simon's side. You don't just look at a few incidents and judge for the whole game. But Jake Morallo, I agree. He should be given more playing time. And yes, JYH has not performed well because he's been in and out of injuries. He'll round out into form.

  3. I'm not a fan of loyala , but I think medjo bad influence yung si James Younghusband , He always whine to the referees . I watched the game live , and I think nawalan ng gana ang mga team mates niya dahil dito . and minsan pinapagalitan sila ni James Younghusband . James is a good footballer ,(maybe he's out of form the last few games ) but all he did is to "KOMPANY" (from Manchester City ) he really needs to chill up , or accept that not all his team mates as good as him . His teammates are not impressed when James younghusband whine too much ,

  4. Sir Ric , Sayang yung Pachanga team (from division two) . the pachanga on division 1 is a very different team . I think they play more like diliman (the second place) than the Pachanga that played good football on div 2 .

  5. Anto Gonzales is the missing link for the Sparks. Stabilizing factor plus leadership.