Maharlika Manila FC scored two goals in the second half for a come-from-behind 2-1 upset over Stallion-Laguna FC on Saturday in the Philippines Football League at the PFF national training center field in Carmona town, Cavite.
Down at the break, Roxy Dorlas and co. came charging back, courtesy of goals by defender Jose Montelibano in the 52nd minute and striker Jeremy Theuer, who volleyed from the fringe of the goal box in the 74th.
Fresh from a 1-0 loss to Kaya-Iloilo FC last Wednesday, they stayed in contention in the short six-team, single-round series sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation, the sport’s national governing body, and presented by Qatar Airways.
Senegalese midfielder Ibrahim N’Dour chipped in the go-ahead goal for Stallion-Laguna just outside the box in the 28th but, with three starters missing, the squad lost steam in the second half.
Cameroonian Manila Maharlika FC goalie Henri Bandeken had another stellar outing at the net and was named man of the match.
“Words cannot express how happy I feel about this victory,” said Dorlas after his team showed its resiliency facing one of the league’s fancied sides.
“One of the things that (team owner) Anton del Rosario told us when we formed this squad was to produce positive results and gain the respect of the big clubs and this is what we did today,” he added, while citing anew the Bandeken’s solid outing.
Stallion-Laguna assistant coach Richard Leyble acknowledged that fatigue set in for his players in the second half, but praised his opponents for the way they never gave up when they fell behind.
å“Without our three starters in our first 11 it was difficult for us. Malaking factor yan. Hirap siya. Kulang sa materyales,” Leyble noted.
“We just have to avoid the same mistakes and how to sustain our fitness for the entire 90 minutes.”