THE Cebu Football Association (CFA) team assured itself of an entry in next year’s national finals of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Suzuki Cup U23 by finishing third in the Visayas eliminations.
The CFA team, manned by booters from the University of San Jose Recoletos, Don Bosco Boys Home and University of Southern Philippines Foundation, solidified its hold of the third place after edging the Negros Oriental Football Association (NORFA), 2-1, yesterday at the Aboitiz Sports Field in Subangdaku, Mandaue City.
The win allowed CFA to finish the tournament with a total of 10 points after posting a win-draw-loss record of 3-1-4. Only the top three teams will go through to the national finals.
With three matches remaining in the Visayas eliminations, Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) and Iloilo Football Association (IFA) are both assured of the two spots, respectively. NOFA is dominating the eliminations with 21 points while IFA is at second with 15 points.
CFA had a sluggish start in yesterday’s match as the team was hounded by bad passing and dismal ball control.
CFA’s mistakes eventually allowed NORFA to find the back of the net in the 19th minute via Regie Sesneros, who followed up a deflected corner kick.
With the first half ending in 1-0 in favor of NORFA, CFA picked up its game and became more aggressive in the second half.
A header by Ben Lorenzo Magbanua following a goalmouth scramble in the 53rd minute allowed CFA to level the match at 1-all.
Under pressure to win the game, CFA continued its relentless attack while NORFA’s players were starting to limp off the field one by one due to cramps.
CFA found glory in the 87th minute when Anthony Bryan Tabuelog scored another header off a cross from Agapito Bacla-an.
NORFA tried to score the equalizer in the added five minutes but to no avail. /CORRESPONDENT MARS G. ALISON.