Anton Del Rosario's 7’s Football League kicks off new season; Super Eagles, Tondo FC, Ghana FC, Matu Deportivo, Delimondo-LFC and H&J All-Stars draw first blood in the opener
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 04, 2019 10:57 AM
Matu Deportivo vs Stallions (Photo courtesy of 7's Football League)
TAGUIG - The third season of the 7s Football League, founded by former Azkal Anton del Rosario was unveiled at the McKinley Hill Stadium today starting off with the games for the youth level.
The youth teams lined up as the program commenced, with del Rosario leading the athletes’ oath to mark the kick-off of the first four games to be played.
It is the first time that the league organized a youth division - with 4 teams playing at the pitch at the same time. The big clubs that are playing at the Philippine Premiere League; Ceres-Negros FC and Kaya-Iloilo FC sent their youth teams to participate in the league. FC Loyola-Youth, Socceroos and Bohemians Sporting Club were also among the teams that are participating at the youth level.
Different food stalls like Café France, Delimondo and Bagwings were installed outside the Stadium for the fans, players, and staffs who would like food options other than the free Jollibee meals and Gatorade that were given away.
More or less 30 games were played for the youth division for the opening day which was divided into age groups – U9, U13, U11, and U15.
PPL Clubs; Ceres FC and Stallions FC also sent teams to compete at the Seniors Division on which saw action for the first the opener. Ceres FC took on Tondo FC for the first game which also featured the inaugural and defending champions Super Eagles, as they played against the Jason de Jong backed-Bohemian Sporting Club on the other pitch. Debuting Stallions FC, on the other hand, faced the Nico Bolzico-backed Matu Deportivo alongside the fixture between Ghana and Super Bad. Completing the games for the opening day of the league are H&J All-Stars playing against Futbol Fanatics and Real Amigos going up Anton del Rosario’s Delimondo LFC.
The Senior Division games were action-packed as the defending champions, Super Eagles edged newcomers, Bohemian FC; 5-2.
“We have already expected that the teams would go after us as we are the defending champions for two seasons already. But we treat every game as if it were our final game of the season.” Super Eagles Head Coach Danny Cross says.
For Bohemians player Daniel Matsunaga, being able to play for the 7s Football League is like a homecoming since he was also able to play in the UFL before it transitioned into becoming the Philippines Football League and then eventually rebooted in the upcoming Philippine Premiere League.
“They [Super Eagles] were the better team, perhaps they played well against us but that didn’t pressure me to play against them, not at all.” He says when asked if he felt pressured that he and his team will be playing against the defending champions for their first game of the season.
Over at the other game, Tondo FC clinches their first win against Ceres FC; 2-1, despite facing the difficulty of putting the team together for training.
“We do individual trainings as most of us are no longer full-time football players. Ayun yung challenge for us kasi yung makakalaban namin is a much younger and a fresh team na may full-time training. Siguro ang edge na lang namin sa kanila is yung kami, matagal na kami magkakakilala, magkakapitbahay lang kami.” Tondo FC Head Coach Dennis Balbon narrated.
The second set of games for the opener also gave a show for the fans that flocked the stadium. Ghana FC had an almost flawless win over Super Bad; 9-1.
“We lost in the championship last season via penalties so we really prepared for this game. We conceded one goal in because I think my players relaxed a bit after scoring 9 goals straight and that we have to swap some players to get them ready for the next game. All the teams had prepared for this season, Laro FC got the Japanese guys and Misagh Bahadoran, then Bohemians for sure will bounce back after their loss against Super Eagles, Stallion and Matu are also two competitive teams so it is very difficult to say right on that we are here to avenge our championship loss from last season. We cannot tell as of the moment but we are ready to face any team.” says the Ghana FC coach Ayi Biyombo.
Meanwhile, Matu Deportivo displayed class against another 7s football newcomer, Stallions FC; 5-2 at the final whistle. Both teams were inseparable at halftime as they settled for a draw. However, coming from the break, Matu Deportivo saw a chance to outscore their opponent.
“Stallions used their first team and they were very good, they passed the ball a lot, they made us run a lot. I think that was a very even game, it was very fun. We saw that at the end of the first half, Stallion was losing intensity and we thought that we need to be more compact, we need to create less space in the middle because our opponent passes the ball a lot and is very good at moving without the ball. We needed to play smarter, run a bit less but be more organized.” Says Matu Deportivo player-coach, Nico Bolzico
The last set of games that were scheduled for the opening day also did great with H&J All-Stars winning against Futbol Fanatics; 3-2 in an intensely close match.
On the other game, Delimondo-Laro FC clinched a victory over Real Amigos, 3-0. The game also featured the debut of Azkal Misagh Bahadoran in the league however he sustained an injury just before halftime and was not able to continue on.
“It was a great win for us considering that we were not able to practice for the game. I was pretty confident that the guys can turn it on, we were born athletes and we were born to play this game as we have been playing this since we were young. I look forward to the intensity of every match. Every game is action packed and it’s similar with basketball, something that the Filipinos can relate on to. 7 a-side is more action-packed compared to 11 a-side, on which you have to wait and observe. This kind of football will be of great awareness to the Filipinos, the intensity and the back to back scoring are very relatable in a way for those who know basketball.”
Complete game results are as follows:
G8 vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (1-4)
Ceres vs. Forza (0-0)
Malaya vs. Ceres (0-0)
G8 vs. Kaya (3-2)
Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Loyola (9-0)
Futbol Fanatics vs. Sugod (1-1)
Kaya vs. Loyola (2-1)
Futbol Fanatics B vs. Futbol Fanatics A (0-0)
G8 vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (8-0)
Socceroo vs. Malaya (0-5)
Kaya vs. G8 (0-0)
Futbol Fanatics vs. Malaya (0-0)
Socceroo vs. Loyola (0-0)
Kaya vs. Loyola (3-2)
Ceres vs. Stallion (0-1)
Kaya vs. G8 (3-1)
Futbol Fanatics vs. Ceres (1-2)
G8 vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (1-2)
Socceroo vs. Futbol Fanatics (2-0)
Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Loyola (3-0)
Kaya vs. Loyola (3-2)
G8 vs. Futbol Fanatics (0-2)
Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Malaya (2-1)
Kaya vs. Malaya (1-2)
Bohemian Sporting Club vs. G8 (0-3)
Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Kaya B (0-1)
Loyola A vs. Kaya A (2-1)
Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Loyola (1-0)
Tondo FC vs. Ceres FC (2-1)
Super Eagles vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (5-2)
Ghana FC vs. Super Bad (9-1)
Matu Deportivo vs. Stallions FC (5-2)
H&J All Stars vs. Futbol Fanatics (3-2)
Delimondo LFC vs Real Amigos (3-0)