UNNECESSARY fouls exacted a high cost for Cebu Queen City United as these ended their bid to advance in the PFF-Smart National Club Championship after they lost to Pachanga FC, 3-1, yesterday at the Aboitiz Sports Field.
CQCU boys failed to put a stop to their losing curse over the visiting team as they suffered their fourth straight loss. What makes it harder to swallow is that this time, it is in a home game.
"We are happy to beat Cebu in Cebu. We have really prepared against them as they have become known to play a quick game and we were able to spot the people we have to defend well," said Pachanga head coach Bob Salvacion.
Although CQCU initiated the fast running match in the early minutes of the game, it was Pachanga that drew first blood with Joven Bedic's header in the 38th minute giving them the upper hand, 1-0.
But CQCU's Samson Olaniyi countered an equalizer within the one-minute extension from Junard Aguilar's knee-high cross to end the first half in a 1-1 deadlock.
The twist happened in the second half, where Pachanga capitalized on the unnecessary fouls of CQCU in the danger area.
Two fouls committed by CQCU's Miguel Gonzales were the nails that sealed the coffin for the Cebu team as these were converted by Pachanga.
The first foul happened within the box in the 67th minute with Pachanga’s Jason Conliffe providing the 2-1 relief for the team. The second foul was a tackle in the penalty box and it was Mario Javier Clarino who scored and padded the lead, 3-1.
Although Salvacion was very impressed with the performance of CQCU, he said that the team has still more to improve on.
Pachanga will move on to the quarterfinals and will face the winner between Mindanao-based Romgarjal FC and the Green Archers.
Even if CQCU head coach Mario Ceniza stands with his team on a losing note, he is contented with the performance of his players.
"I am not dissatisfied. Minus the turnover and other errors, we have showed them that we played a good match," Ceniza said.
Ceniza again traces the weakness of the team to the lack of exposure to friendly games against other strong clubs in the country.
Unlike Pachanga whose friendly games with other United Football League team based in Manila can be conveniently scheduled anytime, CQCU has to settle for games available in the city.
The team will only have a short vacation as they prepare once again for the UFL League Division 2, which opens this February, where they hope to improve on their third place finish last time.