MP United FC made its presence felt early in the 2013 Pilipinas Cup International Invitational Youth Tournament after bagging an impressive 4-1 victory over Sta. Rosa FC yesterday at the Nuvali-Evoliving Field in Laguna, Philippines.
Tanapon Unsa, Enrico Del Rosario, and Jehn Joyner scored in MP United FC’s debut in the U18 division of the Pilipinas Cup. The three started out for the Typhoons along with goalie Christopher Aninzo, John Diego Masga, Kennedy Izuka, John Taisacan, Chris Park, Jireh Yobech, Daniel Lim, and Scott Kim. Also on the team are Greg Sablan, Bob Kim, Thanyakorn Konkoed, Angelo Jones, Namki Kim, and Sungbae Park.
Unsa opened the scoring for MP United, as he found the back of the net in the fifth minute. He made it back-to-back, as he eluded his defenders and scored anew four minutes later. MP United’s last two goals came in the second half with Del Rosario lighting up the scoreboard in the 41st minute and Joyner also getting his first goal one minute later.
MP United FC coach Norman Del Rosario said they attacked early, as they want to test the waters and did not have a clear idea how Sta. Rosa FC plays on defense.
“In the first few minutes we really concentrated on attacking. We also had good buildup from our defenders and this helped us set up for goals. Our defense has always been our strength,” the Typhoons mentor said.
With the MP United’s defense holding strong, Sta. Rosa FC went scoreless in the majority of the opening half before ending the drought late in the first 25 minutes of play.
“The game was very physical and Jehn (Joyner) got a taste of it, but we held on,” Del Rosario added.
The MP United FC-Sta. Rosa FC tiff was the kick-off match in the boys U18 and pitted Group B teams. The Typhoons are grouped with Ateneo de Manila and Manila Jeepney FC. The win in its debut is a big morale-booster for MP United as it faces Manila Jeepney FC today at 2pm (4pm Saipan time).
“Everyone was so pumped up after the win and positive vibes are going around the team,” said Del Rosario, who picked Ateneo and Group A’s Loyola Meralco Sparks as the favored teams in the tournament.
Ateneo is the champion in the UAAP (Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines) high school league, while Meralco is bannered by the collegiate team of Far Eastern University, which is also competing in the touted UAAP.
The Typhoons will be challenging Ateneo tomorrow for their last game in Group B. In Group A’s opening game, Meralco shut out Team Socceroo, 2-0. Completing Group A are La Salle Greenhills Varsity and Bataan Elite FC. Each pool has a round-robin format with the Top 2 squads per group advancing to the “Cup Playoffs.”