United City coach keeps faith in 'keeper Pinthus after rough AFC debut

Originally published by SPIN.PH

UNITED City FC coach Jason Withe gave a vote of confidence to goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus even after a few rough outings in his debut in the AFC Champions League.

Withe lauded the effort of Pinthus during UCFC’s loss to Kawasaki Frontale where he conceded two goals, in contrast to eight when the two teams faced each other last Friday night.

The performance in the first match against Kawasaki Frontale as well as the 7-0 defeat against Daegu FC on June 29 by Pinthus in Uzbekistan drew criticisms from some football fans in the Philippines.

Good goalkeeper

“His confidence took a little bit of a battering in the last two games,” said Withe. “But he didn’t show that out there today. I’m pleased with him. He is a good goalkeeper. His attitude is correct.”

A member of the Azkals Under-22 team that saw action in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the 23-year-old Pinthus won the Golden Glove during the 2020 Philippines Football League bubble season.

Withe lamented Pinthus’ lack of competitive matches during the pandemic that would have equipped him entering the Champions League. But Withe said Pinthus never made it an excuse and continued to work hard in training.

“Eight months, he’s gone without playing football. All credit to him. The poised he had and training every day. He came into the tournament without a competitive game for eight months. It’s easy to knock somebody when he let eight goals, seven goals in. But give him credit,” said Withe.

Pinthus said his confidence never wavered through the support of the team.

“I’m thankful first of all to the team… We can learn from it. The whole team, the whole staff, all the coaches, they believed in me and stick with me,” said Pinthus.

“They are like a family. They gave me confidence also. I’m happy that I had a good game,” Pinthus said.

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