MANILA, Philippines - Pachanga Diliman leaned on Fil-Am Nate Burkey’s brace as it downed Division One debutant Team Socceroo, 2-0, to seize the early lead at the start of the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium Saturday night.
Burkey, former Phl Azkal, opened up the scoring in the 33rd minute and completed a double after scoring from the penalty area on the 67th to fuel Pachanga Diliman’s strong start.
It also sent Team Socceroo, promoted from Second Division, back to earth in a match it could have made interesting had it cashed in on several missed chances.
Back-to-back title-seeking Stallion FC escaped with a 2-2 draw against an upset-conscious Green Archers United-Globe, thanks to a left-footed match-tying rocket by Rafael Gomez off an unclear corner kick.
“I got away with the tie, we could’ve lost easy,” said Stallion coach Ernest Nierras, who also mentors the Malditas or the national women’s football squad.
The Globe-powered GAU had all the chances to pull the rug from under a fancied Stallion after leading by a goal twice.
Azkals skipper Chieffy Caligdong, a former Air Force man who turned Globe Telecoms endorser, gave GAU the early lead after connecting just seven minutes into the match after he blazed past Wilson Muñoz.
But Stallion rookie Napoleon Bustillo was fouled inside the box, allowing Hamed Hajimahdi, formerly PSG captian, connected on the spot kick to knot it at one goal apiece 15 minutes later.
Gabriel Olowoyeye gave GAU back the lead after he rammed home a goal that was made possible by Caligdong’s inspiring charge in the left flank on the 32nd, that was, again, knotted thanks to that Gomez goal just before halftime.
GAU had all the chances in the second half but just couldn’t finish well, allowing the win to escape from its hands and handing Stallion the deadlock, which was good for a match point and a share of second.
In Second Division action, Manila Jeepney waylaid Manila All-Japan, 4-0, and Ceres-La Salle Bacolod overpowered Phl Navy FC, 4-0.