The United Football League Cup 2011 Round of 16 had already commenced. Third seed Philipine Air Force Phoenix FC was matched to the fourteenth seed Manhur FC, while fourth seed Nomads Auction Manila FC faced thirteenth seed Pasargad FC. The matches happened last November 5 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Air Force makes quick work of Manhur
The onslaught started four minutes into the match, and it never let up right until the referee’s final whistle.
Despite the torrential rains which made a muddy swamp out of the pitch, this did not stop the Philippine Air Force Phoenix FC from quickly disposing of their rival Manhur FC, 15-3, during the first match in the knockout phase of the UFL Cup.
The win enabled the two-time league champions Airmen to further advance into the knockout stage of the tournament while sending Manhur packing into an early vacation.
Azkals mainstay Ian Araneta netted an eye-popping seven goals for the Airmen, while fellow Azkals midfielder Chieffy Caligdong backstopped him with four goals of his own for a Texas hat trick, as their goals accounted for eleven of the 15 goals that the team was able to score almost willingly against the hapless defenders of Manhur.
Four minutes into the match and the Airmen already lighted up the scoreboard with a goal from Reymark Palmes, which was immediately followed by Araneta’s first goal in the match and another one by teammate Jalor Soriano to set the tone for the rout.
The Airmen were seemingly undeterred by the muddy pitch that made passes and kicks more difficult, and by the end of the first half they were comfortably ahead and had blanked the opposition, 9-nil, with Araneta already having four goals to his name.
A change in the goalkeeper of the Airmen allowed Manhur to squeeze in three goals of their own, all in the second half when the outcome had already been determined. But Araneta, was still far from done as he then banged in three more goals in the second half as he repeatedly eluded the porous defense of their opponents.
Araneta notched his total number of goals for the tournament to a league-high 17, giving him a three-goal lead over Loyola Meralco Sparks FC’s Phil Younghusband, who has 14 goals of his own.
Nomads survives challenge of Pasargad
Two tough teams, Nomads and Pasargad, faced in the second fixture of the first day of the Round of 16 matches. It was a though call between both teams until Randy Musters of Nomads scored in the 71st minute, paving the way for them to further control the momentum of the match.
With the results, both Philippine Air Force Phoenix FC and Nomads Auction Manila FC earned their place in the quarterfinal round