United City faces ADT, seeks solo lead

Originally published by Daily Tribune Online

United City FC (UCFC) guns for solo lead when it faces Azkals Development Team (ADT) in the Copa Paulino Alcantara today at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

Kickoff is at 5 p.m. with the reigning Philippines Football League champion aiming to get three full points that would put it ahead of the pack in the early stage of the six-team Cup tournament.

Two weeks after the Copa opened action on 14 March, defending champion Kaya FC Iloilo and UCFC are currently sharing the top spot with four points from their respective wins and their tight 1-1 draw late Monday.

ADT and Maharlika FC are trailing with three points apiece, while Mendiola FC remains winless in two games.

Stallion Laguna FC, meanwhile, has yet to begin its campaign on 11 April.

Bannering a revitalized lineup, United City is determined to make up for its absence in the 2020 Copa edition and prove that it’s still the toughest force despite the departure of key players Stephan Schrock and Bienvenido Marañon.

United City relied on foreign reinforcements Ricky Sendra and Alan Robertson when it opened its campaign with a 4-0 victory past Maharlika, but it failed to maintain its momentum against Kaya.

Skipper Mike Ott said they are eager to bounce back from their frustrating stalemate and will use their veteran skills against the quick and youthful ADT side.

“We need to improve a lot. In our second game, the fitness (was a challenge), we need to be more aggressive,” Ott said.

“We’re on a good path. We have to check the video and know what we can do better for the next game.”

But ADT is eager to stage an upset using its underdog status.

Still adjusting from the exit of national booters Mar Diano, Sandro Reyes and Oskari Kekkoken, the young Azkals still made a rousing debut when it crushed Mendiola FC, 3-0 on Monday.

Midfielder Scott Woods paced the young Azkals with a calm penalty in the first half, before the substitutes Sky Guerrero and Lance Ocampo took over and nailed the two more goals to secure their victory.

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