Russel Venia of DMC College Foundation and Joven Bedic (8) of Region VI scramble for ball possession during the final match in men’s football at the ULTRA football field.
MANILA, Philippines - Heavy favorite Western Visayas foiled Zamboanga Peninsula’s bid for a Cinderella finish, eking out a 2-1 victory in football action even as National Capital Region kept its dominating performance in the 2010 CHED National Games yesterday.
Joven Bedic delivered the goals – the first in the 35th minute and the other in the 54th – as Region VI, represented by West Negros U, staved off the tough challenge of Dipolog Medical Center College Foundation, a small school near a fishing village in Zamboanga del Norte.
“It was tough. We collapsed in the second half but we hung on to win, which is what mattered,” said Western Visayas coach Norman Fegidero, a former RP team mainstay.
Michael Atienza, a 22-year-old graduating nursing student, gave DMCCF some ray of hope as he rolled in a goal on the 74th minute. He looked headed for another one few plays later only to miscalculate a kick that sailed a few inches out of the left post.
West Negros striker Michael Pacite drew a red card, but Zamboanga failed to take advantage, thus, losing the match in this event backed by Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping, Smart, San Miguel Corp., AMA and STI.
Zamboanga’s British coach Reginald Jukes questioned the penalty shot given Bedic, enabling Western Visayas to draw first blood.
“It wasn’t a penalty. It should have been 0-0 going into the break,” said the 64-year-old Jukes, based in the country for a decade now with his Filipina wife Maria.
“But there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We gave it our all and you saw what happened,” he added.
“We’re just a small school near a fishing village but we came out with a strong effort and nearly won it. This is our best finish in any competition the school participated,” said proud DMCCF owner Albert Concha.