Courtesy of SUN STAR DAILY Newspaper (www.sunstar.com.ph)December 23, 2007 Sunday issue
By Edri K. Aznar, Staff Reporter
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor
TEMPERS rose and bodies banged under the heat of the sun as the grudge match between University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) and University of San Carlos (USC) for the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. football title unveiled yesterday at the USC-TC football field.
USJR, a former four-time champion of the event, finally grasped the golden trophy once again after two years of failing to do so in a 2-0 victory over the defending champion.
The ravenous USC team started out strong in the first few minutes of the game and attacking USJR, getting one shot after the other and almost scoring a goal, but USJR’s defense proved up to the task.
After a scoreless first half, the two teams continued to battle for the first goal in the second half and a momentary loss of concentration had the USC behind.
While most of the team were busy contesting a perceived foul on the other end of the field, USJR counterattacked and Paul dela Victoria’s beautiful cross found Robert Mamac by his lonesome for the first goal in the 72nd minute.
Dela Victoria upped the intensity of the match as, while the perceive no call was still fresh on USC’s mind, he took off his uniform to show his undershirt with the words “It’s showtime” to the USJ-R bench.
Dela Victoria got a yellow card for his theatrics, while teammates Joven Torres, Arlon Sabal, Edward Lachica and Eduardo Buglosa and USC’s Hubert Buot joined him in the referee’s notebook for various infractions.
USC tried to press for the equalizer but a defensive hole at their right flank left Anselmo Pulmones open for another uncontested, leaving the USC keeper helpless.
As time dwindled, the USC team was visibly tired, while USJ-R held on to its defense to preserve the score.
USJ-R’s coach, Joselito Bono, who normally is a loud presence at the baseline as he hollers instructions, was more relaxed and was even smiling as the match drew to a close.
“After two years we finally are the champions again. I’m really happy and proud of my team for winning this championship” said Coach Bono of USJR.
Earlier University of Southern Philippines Foundation grabbed the third place as they defeated University of Cebu, 4-2, in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw at regulation.
Joseph Rodriguez of USPF drew first blood as he struck a goal in the 16th minute and Michael Diano made it 2-0 in the 39th minute.
However, UC fought back and Rodney Gandiongco scored in the 66th minute before Jessie Roy Melgo got the equalizer in the 76th.
In the penalty shootout USPF converted their first four shots, while UC missed two, giving USPF the victory.