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Monday, March 25, 2019

Limpag: Cebu sets history in PHL club football

SCALPERS. There were actually scalpers during Wednesday’s home game of Global Cebu FC in the Philippines Football League. That how brisk the sales of the ticket was. A day earlier, getting hold of a VIP ticket was next to impossible.

That showed how eager the local Cebu community was to see Global take on Ceres FC. So much fuss has been given on the state of the field but I like what coach Marjon Allado said. “We just focused on the game, not on the field...”

The official crowd count was 5,350, and that’s the biggest crowd so far in a club football match in Cebu.

There seems to be a misconception that the Cebu Football Association owns the pitch and that it is a football-only venue. Nope, Cebu City owns the Cebu City Sports Center and it wasn’t built to host football games, but the Palarong Pambansa. It’s also the go-to venue for fun runs, field demos, sportsfest, concerts even and of course, the annual Sinulog.

To demand that the CCSC have a pitch with the same quality of Panaad just weeks after work on it was started is impractical. We should be lucky, and thankful, that it was transformed enough that match commissioner Ebong Joson gave the go signal.

One veteran writer pointed out some of the Ceres players may have been spoiled because they were never there during the dark days of Philippine football. I remember back in 2008, when the Philippines was preparing for the AFF Suzuki Cup, Phil and James Younghusband and the rest of the Azkals played a friendly against the Cebu All-Stars at the old University of San Carlos field. There wasn’t any fuss about the field then.

Anyway, like I told Ceres FC’s Patrick Reichelt, whose family is from Cebu, it’s time to move on from the issue and look forward to the next games.
Reichelt missed the game and the player from Argao is hoping to see action in their next visit.

The home game was a pretty tough act to follow. To see the fans pack the venue on a Wednesday night and despite limited marketing was a feat in itself. The home team didn’t disappoint, of course.

And curiously, one player from the visiting team who did really well was goalkeeper Michael Casas, who had back to back saves in the second half. Who’s Casas? He’s the former Carmen player of Graeme Mackinnon who’s had numerous stints at CCSC when it wasn’t as pristine as last Wednesday.
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