FINALLY, the 2020 Philippines Football League kicked off at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite last Wednesday, Oct. 28, much to the relief of the sport’s fans.
No goal fest ensued, as both matches only yielded a goal a piece.
United City FC won 1-0 but failed to give the Azkals Development Team the schooling it promised.
Instead, it was the United players who learned a crucial lesson about keeping it cool against stubborn, physical opponents, as Manny Ott was red carded following an unnecessary foul late on.
Kaya-Iloilo FC, on the other hand, showed why they are serious title contenders with a 1-0 win over talented but undercharged Maharlika FC.
However, the Lions’ unresolved difficulties in finding the back of the net despite a dominant, even creative, performance could cost them precious points down the stretch.
Of the four teams that saw action, it was the performance of the ADT that drew mixed reactions.
The first half saw the ADT always on the back foot against a more skilled and experienced United, but the youth squad nearly equalized a few times late in the match as they pressed higher, countered, and forayed deeper into enemy territory.
That United, despite its unrivaled possession, could only muster a goal says something about the toughness, form and defensive organization of this young team, which, I may add, apparently stuck to head coach Scott Cooper’s game plan.
Now if the ADT could just string more passes, create more chances, and actually find the back of the net in their next assignments against Kaya, Mendiola, Maharlika and Stallions, in that order.