BACOLOD CITY (21 May 2011) – Negros-Occidental FA (NOFA) took a big step towards winning the title in this year’s PFF (Philippines Football Federation)-Suzuki Under-23 Championship when they beat Iloilo FA 3-1 in the first leg final that was played at the CPU Football Field in Iloilo City.
The score at the end of regulation was 1-1 when Aldrin Dolino opened the scoring for Negros with the lead on 27 minute before Glester Sobremisana fought back for Iloilo with the equaliser with a 54th minute penalty.
“We have already anticipated the possible game plan of Iloilo. That’s why we told the boys to stay focused because our main objective in this tournament is to win,” said Ramon Janeo, the assistant coach for Negros.
“At the start of the game, we tried to play offensively through a 3-4-3 formation but it did not work out because our midfielders had lots of miscommunications.”
But a red card towards the end of regulation against Iloilo’s goalkeeper Muñoz gave the advantage to Negros.
And just nine minutes into extra-time Bedic, a native of Barotac Nuevo, fired in from 25metres out as striker Aldrin Dolino then slammed the third goal for Negros to win the match 3-1.
In spite of the loss Marjo Allado, the chief coach of Iloilo remained optimistic of the return tie.
“We were able to have more attempts than Bacolod but were unable to finish properly. It’s not yet over. It’s going to be hard but, hopefully, we can prepare for it,” said Marjo.
PFF-SUZUKI UNDER-23 CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
FIRST LEG: NOFA (Bacolod) bt Iloilo 3-1
SECOND LEG (22 May 2011): NOFA (Bacolod) vs Iloilo, Panaad Stadium, Bacolod City 6 pm