TAKING advantage of playing at home, the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) - Negros Selection booters beat Cebu FA yesterday, 2-1 in the opening game of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Men’s National U19 Championship Visayas Regional Qualifiers at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Negrense striker Jose Francis Rebacca scored NOFA’s opening goal in the 70th minute while teammate John Marcellana sunk an insurance goal in the 85th minute of the game to post a 2-0 advantage.
Cebu’s Neri Mole Jr. nailed a goal in the 87th minute to cut the lead to 1-2, giving life to the Cebuanos’ hopes for an equalizer. However, whistles blew to end the regulation at 2-1 in favor for the home squad.
During the early minutes of the second half, Negrense striker Melecio Mentor suffered a head injury and was brought to Riverside Medical Center for medical examination. Mentor’s injury was caused by a collision with Cebu’s keeper Henry Perales on an attempt to score a goal. Perales suffered a cut on his forehead which was immediately treated by tournament physician Dr. Emily Zerrudo.
The NOFA-Negros Selection eyes to duplicate its victory when it faces Leyte FA at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Panaad, as Leyte looks forward to avenge their 0-7 defeat in the hands of Iloilo FA Tuesday. Cebu FA will take on Negros Oriental FA (NORFA) at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ceres-Negros Selection assistant coach Ramon Janeo yesterday said that the PFF-Suzuki U-23 National Cup Group B elimination matches, earlier reported as May 15-20, 2011, has been set on May 6-15.
He also added that aside from Leo Rey Yanson, Ricky Yanson Jr. will also serve as one of the team managers.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 27, 2011.