Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School was crowned champion in the 2019 NMIFA Interscholastic Soccer League following a 3-2 victory in its exciting finals showdown against Koblerville Elementary School last Tuesday night at the NMI Soccer Training Center.
Ethan Magofna made the dagger for the Binadus, as he converted a cross from near left center in the 44th minute. The game winner started with Magofna pushing the ball forward past the center circle and losing the possession to Jared Manahane. However, Magofna recovered the ball and drove aggressively with Manahane and another Koblerville defender chasing him. The GTC player then stopped his dribble just inside left center and kicked the ball, which Koblerville goalie Michael Etpison partially deflected, but he had butterfingers and lost the leather that eventually rolled in.
Magofna was mobbed by his teammates, as they celebrated the big shot.
After Magofna’s goal, Koblerville was left with eight minutes (six minutes in regulation and two extra time) to keep its title hopes alive and had several chances to hit the equalizer and send the finale to a shootout.
The first came in the 47th minute when Jerome Mettao went for the left corner kick and the ball landed in front of Rosie Saralu after Koblerville and GTC players battled for a header. Saralu then took a shot, but her attempt was a few yards way off to the left corner post.
Two minutes after the missed opportunity, Koblerville again had a left corner kick and this time, Mettao went straight for a shot, with the ball passing over Espiritu’s left shoulder and hitting the goalie’s hand as he made the turn to deflect the leather, which then crossed to the right with Umangs and Binadu defenders battling for the rebound.
In the last three minutes, Koblerville made three more corner kicks with Saralu doing the honors. However, Javen Camacho deflected the ball and kicked it out on two occasions, while Espiritu blocked it once using his body. For their final attempt to equalize the game, Mettao made the throw-in and got the ball back from Saralu’s pass. Mettao then unloaded the lob, but missed his mark with the ball going way over the crossbar.
A few seconds after Mettao’s attempt, the final buzzer sounded, giving GTC the division title this season.
Joining Espiritu, Camacho, and Magofna on the Tawny Barcinas-coached champion team are Daniel Repeki, Narsan Langu, Vincent Castro, Arkin Pajarillaga, Marlaina Benjamin, Yutaka Kadokura, Terrence San Nicolas, Monette Norita, Chuck Langu, Savage Smith, Lexy Santos, and Franklin Reyes.
Camacho recorded the two other goals for GTC, earning both of them in the first half. He logged his first in the fourth minute and the second in the 26th off a penalty kick. Koblerville also registered a pair in the first half with Saralu finding the back of the net right in the opening minute of the thrilling game and Mettao lighting up the board in the 16th.