Press release from PSG Fc (Pasargad FC )
28 January 2013, Manila, PHI
“The situation we are in is something we have never encountered before”. These were the words that came from the mouth of Coach Esse Sedigh after PSG FC’s exciting victory in penalties against Green Archers United Globe (GAU) in the penultimate semifinal match-up in the PFF Smart National Club Championships with a scoreline of 4-3 (2-1 in penalties) last January 26, Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. With the win, PSG FC sets up the final duel with non-league side Ceres Negros FC whose cinderella run in the tournament was capped with a 3-1 victory over Kaya FC. Reason for this rather not-so-ecstatic statement coming off a victory is the likelihood of PSG FC missing the services of its stalwart goal keeper, Reza Ataie and lead defender Jaham Taher – vital cogs in the squads starting 11 on account of red cards due to premature celebration which marred the otherwise well played match vs GAU.
The match ended with 2 goals apiece after extra time and entered into penalties. Chieffy Caligdong, GAU’s new sign-up, drew first blood for the Archers. This was followed by PSGs Hamed Hajimedi who scored via the top left. GAU’s next kicker, Tating Pasilan’s kick was caught by Reza but the referee ordered a re-take claiming Reza moved forward ahead of the kick. Pasilan’s next kick hit the post giving PSG the golden opportunity of upping the pressure. Francis Sumudivilla, PSGs newest addition from San Beda College nailed the leading goal top corner putting PSG up 2-1 on penalties. GAU’s Elle Cagayanan flubbed his penalty kicking it too close for Reza to claim. Following this, Mark Anthony Fernandez failed to pad the lead as his shot was fully covered by GAU keeper Martin Villaflor. With the scoreline still pegged at 2-1, it was GAUs Tommy Escoltero’s turn to draw. His kick however, was knocked out by Reza. The excitement elicited an ecstatic response from the bench leading to Taher (who was in the pitch at the time) and Reza to take off their jerseys thinking the match was over.
Those actions however, required everyone to pore over the rule book. And with the referee reviewing the sequence of events, both Reza and Taher were meted out Yellow Cards for the infraction – their second for this particular match. Both had to be escorted out since the PK’s had yet to be finished. A lapse of around ten minutes took place before action was resumed with CD Harris for PSG on the line. Harris’ shot was saved by the GAU keeper giving the Archers one last chance. With Ayi Nii Aryee of GAU coming next, the diminutive Sumudivilla took the GK chores wearing nothing but an apron and without gloves. Fortunately for PSG, Ayi’s shot hit the cross bar this time making it very sure of PSG’s win and entry into the finals.
“It was a bitter sweet victory” says team manager Javy Mantecon. Mantecon adds “We are in the top two now and a lot of that was due to Reza’s excellent goal keeping and Taher’s defence. Not to mention Manuel M’bata’s threats on the frontline.” M’Bata was earlier booked a red card for simulation. Clearly on review, M’Bata was nudged by a GAU defender Dominic Mensah upon receipt of the pass from Angelo Marasigan. Despite pleas, the referee judged it a simulation thus the red card. “Hopefully, we can firm up an appeal with the organizing committee so that we can have some if not all our carded players in the pitch for the finals. We have a chance to have the cards rescinded so we will see this week” says the affable club manager. Our string of bad luck started when the light coloured jerseys of the squad were stolen from the dug-out while they were stretching. “It is a shame something like this can happen in such a high profile match. Rizal should always provide top notch security. Imagine if this happens in the Olympics?!”
Despite the setback, the team will continue on with preparing for the finals match versus Ceres this Saturday, 02 February, also at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. “All our players will report for practice and we will treat this just as we treat any match” says coach Esse. “You can already see that our players are in top form. Orcullo, Francis (Sumudivilla), sila Mark and Paul (Concepcion) atsaka sila Jolomi, Younnouis, Manuel, Nelson, Charles, CD, lahat sila fit and ready for anyone” adds coach Esse. “Pero mas maganda kung kumpleto yung team sa Saturday. Alam naman natin na malakas yung Ceres Negros. Madaming magaling mag-football sa Negros so kailang ready ka talaga” says Esse.
The club would like to invite their fans – Barangay PSG this Saturday for what promises to be an exciting wind-up to the SMART National Club Championships.