Originally published by DUGOUT PHILIPPINES
MANILA - Interim head coach Frank Muescan and current season top scorer Bienvenido Marañon shared their expressions after United City FC captures their first PFL title under the current name inside the PFF National Training Center in Carmona.
It was the fourth professional title for both Muescan and Marañon, with the former serving in the coaching staff while Marañon so far has 74 PFL goals for both Ceres-Negros and United City.
Muescan quipped that they have to win the game, noting the stakes after title chasers Kaya FC-Iloilo drew their match fixture against Mendiola FC 1991 earlier in the matchday.
“Noon malaman nag-draw yong Kaya sinabi namin that we’re going to seal this (win against Stallion),” said Muescan. “Our main objective was to really win this game at all cost.”
And the did in typical United City fashion.
From a slim 2-1 lead at halftime, Marañon led the team in the scecond half as he scored a hat-trick which is capped by a goal in the 74th minute, while Mike Ott and OJ Porteria scoring the other two to end the match-up at 7-1, with still a match left in hand.
Muescan cited that working with the Ceres coaching staff, and now United City, has helped him to move the pieces easily this season despite hiring Coach Trevor Morgan prior to the season.
“Ang kagandahan is that I’ve been with them for the last four year," said Muescan, who is serving on an interim basis. "They know me and accepted me so the respect was swift."
Marañon on the other hand applauded the club for retaining him in UCFC's core after the former Ceres-Negros team changed ownership, as well as being the club's ace again.
"It is good that even if we changed management we are still the best team in the Philippines and we showed it again today," said the Spanish striker. "Now we will have a chance in playing strong clubs from China, Japan, Korea which we all look forward to."
With the title, United City has qualified for the AFC Champions League in 2021, the first Filipino club to do so since the inception of the continental club competition in 2002.
The club, as Ceres-Negros, almost made it to the Champions League twice as the were denied by China's Tianjin Quanjian and Japan's FC Tokyo in 2018 and 2020, respectively, both beating them 2-0.