Originally published by Sunstar, Bacolod
THE United City Football Club (UCFC) claimed their fourth championship crown in the Philippines Football League (PFL) 2020 after beating the Stallion-Laguna FC, 7-1 on Friday at the Philippine Football Federation Training Center at Carmona, Cavite.
This is United City’s fourth franchise title after taking over the management from then league titlist Ceres-Negros FC in July.
Bienvenido Marañon scoring his second hat-trick performance in the tournament to lead United City’s runaway victory against the Stallion. Marañon has struggled to find his range during the first half of the match until he made his shot in the 58th minute then later in the 66th and 74th minutes.
Mike Ott, meanwhile, delivered a brace as Takashi Odawara and Jose Elmer Porteria added a goal each for the United City. Ibrahima N’Dour, on the other hand, scored Stallion’s lone goal in the 12th minute after beating United City keeper Anthony Pinthus.
“I felt very happy and glad to be part of this team, and win the league’s crown in 4 consecutive seasons,” Marañon said. “About scoring goals, I didn’t think too much on it, it’s just a small part of the game. The most important is how the team comes up and shows good football,” the 34-year-old forward added.
Marañon also thanked their supporters for being there and encouraged them to play hard even from home. “We feel their support like they are in the stadium. I can not wait to see them in the stairs watching live games,” Marañon referring to their supporters who watched the games through YouTube or Facebook.
Ceres-Negros FC spirit lives on
Meanwhile, United City’s assistant coaches Ian Treyes and Eduard Sacapaño felt that Ceres-Negros FC spirit still lives within the team.
“We still have the heart of the Ceres FC. We can’t deny that. It is the name of the team that changed but, the way the team played this beautiful game is still there -- it’s in their heart,” Treyes said.
“Kudos to Coach Risto [Vidakovic]. The knowledge and the attitude that he instilled in us towards the game is priceless. He elevated the way we play football. As what you see in our games, it’s different from the other teams here,” he added.
For goalkeeper Sacapaño, he is very thankful and happy that he is still part of this journey. “The DNA of Ceres FC is still here,” he stressed.
AFC Champions League
United City General Manager Patrick Ace Bright confirmed that the club had earned a direct spot to 2021 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Group Stages. “No more qualifications. And, the draw for this tournament is tentatively next month,” he added.
United City will be facing Kaya FC-Iloilo tonight for their last match in the tournament. However, regardless of the result, they will be taking home the championship trophy.
The United City FC is still undefeated with four wins for 12 points while Kaya is in the second spot with two wins and two draws.