Qualifier for Neymar's 'Five' off to fast start


Posted at Feb 20 2017 01:40 PM

Qualifier for Neymar's 'Five' off to fast start 1
Players battle for control of the ball during one of the qualifying matches in Neymar Jr.'s "Five." Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines – The qualifying matches for Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr.'s "Five" in Manila got off to a fast start last Saturday, with six teams squaring off in Qualifier A games.

Four teams advanced to the Finals in March 4, including El Retiro, Kidzania, and Underground Football.

Kidzania engaged in one of the most exciting matches of the day against Laro, with Laro taking the victory via a 4-0 score line.

"The qualifier today was a great time," said skipper Anton del Rosario. "We had to learn the game and adjust the tactics as we were all new to it."

Neymar's "Five" is the Brazilian forward's signature football tournament which pits five-a-side team in 10-minute matches, with a twist. Every time one team scores, the opposing team loses a player, paving the way for fast, tactical, and technical showdowns.

"This is entirely different, but still has the real essence of typical football," said Kevin James Olayvar, leader of Underground Football. 

"It was intense and heart-pumping. It was hard to go against another team when you're a man down, and it makes you think whether you should just attack or just stay in defense the entire game, and wait for them to make mistakes," he explained.

Qualifier B matches are scheduled for February 25 in SPARTA Philippines in Mandaluyong.

Registrations are open until Thursday, February 23.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)