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Villagracia rues missed chances in Azkals Development Team's draw with Maharlika

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Villagracia rues missed chances in Azkals Development Team's draw with Maharlika
Jacob Maniti in action for the Azkals Development Team.
PFL

MANILA, Philippines – Azkals Development Team head coach Jovanie Villagracia rued his side’s missed chances in their 1-1 draw against Maharlika Manila in Philippines Football League play at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite last weekend. 

Maharlika Manila’s Spencer Galasa, who starred for Arellano University in the NCAA, opened the scoring for Maharlika, only for the ADT’s Jacob Maniti to equalize via penalty shot in the 81st minute.

“It was a disappointing result because we did not get the three points,” said the coach. “We created a lot of chances but were unable to finish.”

Villagracia was referring to some attempts by Yrick Gallantes and Dov Cariño among others except that Maharlika keeper Vinci Valdez was superb minding the sticks.

However, Maharlika too felt they could have come away with the three full points.

Benny Villaflor tested ADT keeper Enrico Mangaoang with an opportunistic shot from distance that was parried away to safety. Galasa then missed an attempt from a meter away in the 51st minute. 

In the 66th minute, Maharlika finally made good on a chance to gain revenge on the ADT after their 4-0 hammering in the first round.

A scintillating four-pass sequence initiated by Boris Koung to Ojay Clariño on the left saw the former dash in unmarked to the left of Mangaoang. 

The ADT keeper rushed out to cover Koung but the latter found Galasa with a cross, and he scored this time around despite two ADT defenders covering the line.

Maharlika nearly doubled their advantage but midfielder’s Julian del Valle’s long range strike hit the crossbar and the ball ricocheted away.  

The ADT cruelly snatched away any hopes for Maharlika’s first league win of the season when the latter was whistled for a penalty. Maniti scored the equalizer with a nifty panenka that fooled Valdez in the 83rd minute.

Villagracia, on the other hand, also felt his side should have earned two penalty kicks that could have changed the outcome of the match.

“We were not awarded two penalties that could have changed the result. But overall a good performance because we saved a point,” he said.

The draw gave the ADT a 2-2-3 win-draw-loss slate that kept them at fifth spot in the standings with eight points. Maharlika’s consolation was they earned their first point from their 0-1-9 campaign.

The ADT next faces second-ranked United City at 4 p.m. Saturday, October 22, while Maharlika takes on league-leading Kaya.

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