NEGROS Occidental nipped Davao, 1-0, to capture the Philippine Football Federation-Smart Under-22 Amateur Championship in front of a huge home crowd at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City on Sunday.
Charles Barberan replicated his heroics, firing the marginal goal in the second half to lift the host Negrenses to the title.
The 19-year-old University of St. La Salle star, who also scored the only goal in the win in over Cavite in the Final Four, was adjudged MVP in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
The Negrenses overcame the Davaoeños’ threats in the first half before leaning on Barberan, who struck in the 74th minute off a set up by Nigerian striker Eli Usman.
“We were erratic in the first half, but the players responded well at halftime,” Negros coach John Carmona said. “It’s nice to get this win at home because we were able to show people we can play some good football.”
Cavite blanked Misamis Occidental, 4-0, earlier to settle for third place.
PFF, which used the competition to look for potential talent for national age-group squads, now has Barberan and the rest of the standouts on its radar.
“We have scouts here and I think they have identified talents especially from the champion team, Negros,” PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes said.