Last Saturday we were actually able to field two teams in a mini tournament in CorinthianGardens organized by the Corinthians Football Club. We were grouped in the 10-12 year old bracket with ManilaSoccerAcademy (based in Manila Polo Club) and the host Corinthians Football Club. In order to be able to field two teams, we played some of our younger players who despite giving up size and experience, they made up for the difference in hustle and desire.
Team 1 was comprised of the more experienced players. Coach Mic generally played two defenders, three midfielders and one striker to take advantage of our advantage in speed over our opponents. Members of Team 1 were:
Sherwin made his competitive debut in goalkeeper and impressed with his poise and reflexes. Raven scored two goals on the day and had one assist while Edrien contributed one goal. Team 1 defeated Team 2 by a score of 2-0 to start the tournament on a winning foot. They then held MSA to a scoreless draw before losing to CFC 1 to 2 to end the group stage with 4 points.
Team 2 was also labeled the team for tomorrow with a few experienced holdovers providing leadership. Coach Ed changed the formation often depending on the situation. Members of Team 2 were:
Eugene also played goalkeeper for the first time from his usual defensive position and made many crucial saves on the opposition. Polly quickly became a crowd favorite for his determined defending despite his diminutive stature. After the initial defeat against Team 1, Team 2 beat CFC by a score of 1-0 thanks to goal by Peter. That was followed by a 1-0 victory over MSA thanks to a beautiful goal by Jeffrey to earn 6 points in the group stage.
The group stage ended with Team 2 surprisingly on top with 6 points while Team 1, MSA and CFC were all tied with 4 points. Team 1 and CFC competed in a PK shootout for a place in the Championship game against Team 2 at stake. This was won 1-0 by CFC.
The Third place game was an exciting affair between two teams that wanted to end the tournament on a winning note. Attacking football was played by both sides and the coaches subbed players liberally to take advantage of fresh legs. The only goal was finally scored on a counter attack by MSA towards the end of the game. Team 1 continued to battle but were not able to score an equalizer.
The Championship game was between Team 2 and the much larger CFC. Both teams clearly wanted the victory and CFC was also looking for revenge for the earlier victory of Team 2. CFC scored late in the game to take a 1-0 advantage before a team effort from Team 2 equalized at the end of the game. Niel started the action with a stinging shot that was saved by the keeper. Reynaldo followed with a header that was off the upper cross bar before Jess was able to put the goal away with another header off the rebound. The Championship was to be decided by penalties with each team having three kickers. After the initial three kickers, the game was tied at 2-2 thanks to good keeping by Eugene and a well taken penalty by Niel. During the sudden death however, the CFC player was able to score while Cedy was denied by a nice save from the keeper. Team 2 impressed in finishing in second place and they were rewarded with some medals that they were proudly able to show off.
Congratulations to Team 2 for their first runner up finish!
Pictures taken by Coach Adrian will be posted at a later date.