SOCCEROO atoned for squandering an early lead with a more determined performance in the second half to salvage a 2-2 draw against Pachanga on Thursday night in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
The newly promoted side turned to the individual brilliance of Lee Jeong Woo, who scored both goals to prevent his squad from coming up empty handed.
“We’re happy about the result, but we could’ve won that game,” Socceroo coach Kleng Cacacho said, ruing one bungled chance from Paulus Reyes, whose attempt to a goalkeeper-less net missed its mark.
The 2013 Division 2 champion thus went home with a point for a total of six to remain in eighth spot.
Despite the stalemate, Pachanga moved one spot up to fifth with 10 points, ahead of Philippine Army on goal difference.
Still, the result disappointed Pachanga coach Noel Marcaida, who missed the services of leading scorer Nate Burkey (national team) and skipper Reza Amirkhizan (suspension).
After Lee opened the scoring 15 minutes into the game by pouncing on a miscommunication from the opponent’s defense, Ariel Zerrudo equalized for Pachanga in the 25th minute.
Jinggoy Valmayor, the University of the Philippines star fresh from his UAAP stint where he led the league in scoring, wasted no time in making his presence felt, firing the goal that gave Pachanga the lead seven minutes later.
Then Lee cashed in on a Socceroo interception to score the go-ahead goal on the counterattack from the middle in the 69th.
“Hindi ganun ka-pinaghirapan yung mga tira nila, so swerte na rin kami nung first half,” Pachanga coach Noel Marcaida said.
Valmayor, the 23-under national team standout who made his debut along with Maroons teammate Daniel Gadia, had a few more makeable chances which he failed to convert.
“Kailangan niya i-improve ang patience niya at composure pag nandyan na sa loob ng box,” Marcaida said of Valmayor. “Kailangan niya pa maging mature sa game.”