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    PSG sets up unlikely title duel vs. giant-killer Ceres

    Jan 26, 2013
    PSG skipper Hamed Hajimehdi in action. Jerome Ascano

    PSG fought back from an early deficit and then hung tough in the endgame for a 4-3 shootout win over Green Archers United and set up an unlikely titular showdown against Ceres for the Philippine Football Federation-Smart National Club Championships.

    The Iranian-laded squad, formerly known as Pasargad, climbed from a two-goal hole in the first half of their semifinal match against the Archers late Saturday to force the shootout at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

    PSG then scored the needed goals in the penalty shootout, while denying the Green Archers time and again to clinch the come-from-behind win.

    That put PSG in a head-on collision with Ceres for all the marbles on Saturday next week.

    PSG skipper Hamed Hajimehdi and Francis Sumudivilla converted in the shootout, enough to give the team the victory as the Archers could only get a lone goal from Philippine Azkals star Chieffy Caligdong despite the breaks going their way.

    With PSG protecting a 2-1 lead during the penalty shootout, keeper Reza Ataei and Taher Jahambaksh were sent off for celebrating too early, giving the Archers one golden opportunity to equalize.

    Despite an untested substitute goalkeeper taking the place of Ataei, the Archers failed to capitalize as Aryee Ayi’s shot was denied by the right post.

    Caligdong and Jovanie Simpron fired the regulation goals for the Archers, before Charles Ujam and Reza Amirkhizan answered back with a goal apiece to equalize for PSG.

    PSG also went a man down late in the march as Emmanuel Mbata was ejected in the second half after receiving his second yellow card.

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    “We had a hard time, but we knew we can win this match,” Hajimehdi said through an interpreter. “And this is really our goal, to go to the finals.”

    But PSG faces rough sailing in the championship game against Ceres as the team is likely to miss the services of their three ejected players who face suspension.

    “They thought the game was already finished because the referee whistled. They have a habit of taking off their shirts, but they didn’t know the game was not yet done,” said PSG sub Mehdi Soltani.

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    PSG skipper Hamed Hajimehdi in action. Jerome Ascano
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