PACHANGA-Diliman survived Forza, 4-3, in a Round-of-16 match that went the distance as it progressed to the quarterfinals of the United Football League Cup at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill on Tuesday night.
With both teams coming up empty-handed in regulation and extra time, the game had to go through penalty shootout, where the ninth-seeded Pachanga needed only four conversions after eight seed Forza missed two of its attempts.
Pachanga, the former Division 2 champion which finished fifth in its maiden top-flight campaign last season, now faces the winner of the matchup between top seed Loyola and 16th seed Cimarron.
All five of Pachanga’s designated kickers volunteered to be in their respective places, with Nate Burkey, Anto Gonzales, Jayson Cutamora, and Teen Azkal Daniel Gadia making their shots.
“Pag dating sa ganung pressure, yung guts talaga ng player yung kailangan. Kasi pag may alangan konti, may possibility na sumablay,” Pachanga coach Noel Marcaida said.
David Adebanjo, Jangobah Johnson, and Luis Celdran found the back of the net in the shootout for Forza, but the shot of Arvin Gaspe hit the right post and that of Elle Cagayanan was denied by Pachanga keeper Kim Versales.
“Lucky judgment,” Versales said of his perfectly-timed save on Cagayanan’s attempt, which, had it gone in, would’ve kept Forza alive and needed one last make from Pachanga to seal the deal.
Marcaida, though, didn’t expect the game to be decided by a shootout against the Division 2 side which serves as farm team of Green Archers United.
“Forza really prepared a lot,” Marcaida said. “I give credit to the goalkeeper of Forza. He did a lot of crucial saves. Yun yung nagbuhay ng team nila (sa regulation tsaka extra time).”
Marcaida, a goalkeeping coach for the national Under-19 team, was referring to Forza netminder Martin Villaflor, who had 13 denials in the first 120 minutes.
Forza’s efforts almost paid off late in extra time when Stephen Burda fired a free kick that appeared to go in after the ball bounced off the cross bar to the ground, only for the officials to rule it out.
“At the end of the day, the referee will decide whether it’s a goal or not. You have to live by it,” Forza coach Mike Agbayani said.