Manila Jeepney beats Laos FC in UFL Cup

Posted on May 28, 2015

MANILA JEEPNEY FC defeated Laos FC on the final day of group play of the United Football League (UFL) Cup on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Starting XI for Manila Jeepney against Laos FC on Tuesday -- UFL Twitter account
Needing to win to latch on to the number two spot in Group D, Jeepney (3-1), which plays in Division 1 of the UFL, relied on total team effort to fend off a tough challenge from Division 2 club Laos.

The victory thrust the Manila-based squad behind Group D leader Global FC (4-0) going into the Round of 16, which begins in July, of the four-group tournament.

Knowing the significance of the match, Jeepney immediately went to work with Arthur Kouassi testing Laos’ defense early with a solid attempt in the three-minute mark which was stopped by the Leyte-based club’s keeper.

Jeepney continued to put on the pressure on Laos after but the latter was undeterred and countered with attacks of its own.

The Division 1 club’s aggressiveness finally paid off as it beat Laos for the first point at the 24th minute by way of a Kouassi tap-in off a miss from teammate Eric Giganto.

Laos, however, answered six minutes later with an equalizer from Aaron Altiche who was assisted by Patrik Franksson.

Jeepney was not to be denied the lead going into the half though as Gary Espesso scored for his team in the 40th minute to make it 2-1.

In the second half, it was Laos which fired back first, getting the goal it surrendered at the close of the opening half with Altiche and Franksson combining at the 47th minute to score Laos’ second goal and pull abreast.

The two sides went back and forth in trying to score the go-ahead but it was Jeepney anew who beat Laos to the punch, scoring in successive fashion through Khosro Safarian (57’) and Giganto (58’) that gave it a 4-2 separation.

The game was delayed for 25 minutes when the lights at the grandstand went out.

When play resumed, Laos tried its best to get back into the match but Jeepney stood its ground and did not allow the former to get any closer.

For extra measure, Jeepney added another goal inside the two-minute extra time from Michael Menzi for the final score.

Koaussi was later named man of the match.

Despite the loss, Laos still goes through to the Round of 16 as the number three team in Group D. Forza FC is the other team advancing from the group.

The rest of the Round of 16 cast are Ceres-La Salle FC, Green Archers United FC, Pasargad and Army in Group A; Kaya FC, Pachanga Diliman FC, Agila MSA and Team Socceroo in Group B; and defending champion Loyola Meralco Sparks FC, Stallion FC, JP Voltes and Mendiola FC 1991 in Group C.

The UFL Cup is a single-elimination tournament that runs alongside League play. It involves teams from the two divisions of the UFL as well as guest teams. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo