Underdogs dominate

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


FROM being the new kids on the block, Tabor Hill FC suddenly became queens of the Girls Under-15 division after an upset win over unbeaten division leader St. Theresa’s College (STC).

After a 3-0 loss to STC in the elimination round, Tabor Hill FC relished their underdog status and defied the odds with a 2-1 victory to wrest the Girls Under-15 crown of the 16th Aboitiz Football Cup at the Aboitiz Sports Field.

“They (STC) had the upper hand. They beat us in the elimination round, 3-0. I was not expecting that (the win) but the girls have been preparing for this,” an ecstatic Tabor Hill FC mentor, Fr. Rolando Rafol, OAD, told Sun.Star Cebu after the championship match.

“We had no experience in big leagues. We are used only to seven-a-side matches. The field that we practice in isn’t even a standard field. Our approach was to defend their key players and counter-attack and it was successful.”

Rafol’s strategy proved effective and with a stroke of luck his team was up ahead with just two minutes into the match. Gheamie Arceo struck a lob shot that bounced from the hands of the goalkeeper into the post and back to the goalkeeper and into the goal.

Defender Alexa Ceniza, however, would equalize in the 20th minute after flicking the ball past the goalie off a corner kick.

Sabine Gambito would find her stroke in the second half and struck in the 44th minute to keep Tabor Hill FC ahead and the victory.

“I trusted them. Win or lose, they just had to play a good game worthy of a championship match,” said Rafol, who was surprised that his team, which was just formed last year, walked away with the title.

Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) clinched third place with a one-sided 7-0 rout over Bright Academy.

Tabor Hill FC’s Vera Echavez was the top scorer in the Girls Under-15 division, while STC’s Colina was declared the MVP. STC’s Kay Sarmiento was the division’s best midfielder, Tabor Hill FC’s Regina Echavez was the best defender and SHS-AdC’s Peeve Layague was the best custodian.

In the meantime, Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC)-B took home the Under-7 division crown with a 2-1 win over Cebu International School (CIS).

CIS drew first blood with a goal by Hiro Nishikura in the 7th minute. However, Mark Talingting forced a penalty shootout after scoring an equalizer late in the match for a 1-1 draw at regulation. DBTC’s Jheron Lao scored the only goal in penalty shootout to lift his team to victory.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2014.

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