Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Negros booters win Suzuki Cup

Posted by chardyboy on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 0 comments


 BACOLOD CITY, Philippines  – Spurred by an enthusiastic home crowd and a favorable off-pitch win, the Negros Occidental, powered by a hat-trick from Gino Palomo, dominated Iloilo booters, 9-0, in the second leg of the home-and-away title series to win the 1st Philippine Football Federation-Suzuki Under-23 National Cup Sunday at the Panaad Stadium.

Aside from Palomo, also shining for the Negrenses was Joshua Beloya who stuck a brace to emerge as the tournament’s best striker with 14 goals.

In all, Negros bagged the crown on a 12-1 aggregate counting its 3-1 win in the first leg, a result that sparked a huge controversy.

The PFF competitions committee reverted the 3-1 result to a 1-1 draw Saturday afternoon following a protest by Iloilo that stemmed from the holding of extra time after regulation ended in a tie in the first leg.

But after a series of meetings later that day by both teams, the PFF and Suzuki officials, the PFF eventually restored the 3-1 result as Iloilo withdrew its protest upon the prodding of PFF president Mariano Araneta Jr who is also the former chief of the Iloilo FA.

Ecstatic over the good news, Negros took control early on the wet and goldslippery pitch, closing the first half with a 4-nil edge before shredding Iloilo, which proved an easy target minus goalie Wilson Munoz.

Munoz, who was replaced by midfielder Chester Braga, served a one-game suspension after being booked in the opener in Iloilo for deliberate handball.

“The score (9-0) will speak for itself,” Negros coach Norman Fegidero Jr said when asked if there were still doubts about their contentious first leg win.

“The team’s morale was high following the reversal of decision. That really motivated the players to really win the game,” added Fegidero, whose squad, feared for its attacking prowess, went undefeated and drew only once in nine games, while finishing with league-best 43 goals.


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