United City FC asserted its dominance over the Azkals Development Team (ADT) for a 1-0 victory in the opening match of the Philippines Football League on Wednesday at the PFF national training center in Carmona, Cavite.
Midfielder Mike Ott took a feed from brother Manny to fire the lone goal in the 25th minute to usher the team’s initial win in the 6-club competition.
United City, however, will miss Manny Ott in the team’s next match after being booked for tackling ADT midfielder Troy Limbo.
The ADT charges of national coach Scott Cooper sprang to life after the break and tried to equalize. But they were frustrated by one of their former teammates, as United City goalkeeper Anthony Pintus came through with brilliant saves in the dying minutes of the match.
“We’re really not happy over the officiating of the game,” said UCFC assistant coach Francis Muescan. “There should have been at least one or two calls that could have gone our way for penalties.”
Muescan credited the ADT for their strong stand, especially in the second half, because “they showed resilience and gave it their all until the end.”
He also shrugged off the loss of Manny Ott. “We still have Arnie Pasinabo and Jorrel Aristorenas (who could fill in the void)," said Muescan.
“After more than seven months without competition, we just need to get our rhythm back and create more scoring chances.”
British ADT mentor Scott Cooper said: “We gave United a little bit of space and too much respect in the first half.”
“But we put a little bit more pressure in the second half and the score could have been easily 1-1.”