NORFA booters tame Little Azkals in finalsBy Mars G. Alison
Cebu Daily News
The Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA)-Anthony’s FC avenged its elimination round loss to the Little Azkals Under 14 yesterday by beating the national team via penalty shootout, 4-2, and clinching the title of the 5th Pintaflores National U16 Invitational Football Cup in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
The Little Azkals installed themselves the title favorites after not dropping a game in the eliminations. However, NORFA put up a good fight and eventually went home triumphant.
It took 35 minutes before the first goal was scored in favor of the Little Azkals courtesy of Davao’s Javier Romero-Salas. But NORFA immediately equalized with a goal of its own just a minute later.
The score remained at 1-all at halftime.
At the 55th minute into the second half, the Little Azkals once again took the lead at 2-1 on Cagayan de Oro’s JB Borlongan’s goal and looked headed for the win when at the 77th minute, NORFA converted a penalty kick to force an extension with the score tied at 2-all.
The extension ended in another stalemate sending the match into a penalty shootout where NORFA scored first while Borlongan’s attempt went wide.
NORFA’s second goal was answered with a goal from Little Azkals team captain Jed Diamante of Davao as the former led, 2-1. The Little Azkals remained on target with Cebu’s Lawrence “Soysoy” Colina scoring another goal to answer NORFA’s third goal.
As NORFA’s fourth attempt found the back of the net, Manila’s Marco Casambre’s attempt was saved by the NORFA goalkeeper pegging the final count.
Little Azkals coach Oliver “BingBing” Colina” said that despite losing the title, the team had a good performance overall especially that this is its first Under 16 tournament.
He added that he is very satisfied that the boys did not miss a beat in their teamwork despite missing on a two-day pre-tournament camp.
According to Colina, the boys had a little problem with their endurance because some of them had played in various tournaments in their respective hometowns.
The Little Azkals settled for the 1st runner-up honors while Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) Cebu salvaged the 2nd runner-up honors after edging host team—San Carlos City Selection, 2-1.
San Beda did not go home empty-handed though as the team from Manila was given the Fair Play award.