Gayoso shines as ADT runs Mendiola FC ragged for first victory
Reverted to his usual striker role early in the second half, Jarvey Gayoso powered the Azkals Development Team (ADT) to a breakthrough 2-0 win over Mendiola FC last Tuesday in the Philippines Football League at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite province.
Revving up ADT’s attack, national coach Scott Cooper switched Gayoso to his familiar spot and the former Ateneo star responded brilliantly, scoring the opening goal and also getting involved in the second knocked in by Matthew Custodio.
It was the first victory in three matches for the national team hopefuls, who bowed to United City FC and Kaya FC Iloilo in the first two match days.
Mendiola goalkeeper Kenry Balobo kept out Marvin Angeles’ penalty in first half stoppage time after coming up with a fine save on Chima Uzoka’s effort earlier.
Looking comfortable in his role up front, Gayoso cashed in on his first real chance firing a header off a pinpoint cross from Dean Ebarle in the 73rd minute. The second goal came in the 81st minute when Custodio pounced on the rebound off Gayoso’s saved free kick.
Pressed and hounded by the relentless pace of the youthful ADT side, Mendiola lost steam in the second half, absorbing its second loss in the competition.
“Gayoso’s performance as a striker has given me food for thought,” Cooper said. “It is something that we can ponder on moving forward.”
But the British tactician said he remained committed to the big picture of developing his players so that they could step up to the next level “even as we teach them how to win.”
“I was just happy in helping my team win and trust coach Scott in whatever position he thinks is best,” Gayoso said. “But I welcome the chance to be back in my old role as a striker.”
Mendiola FC coach Dan Padernal acknowledged that fatigue had set in in the second half, noting the squad’s inactivity for the past seven months and coming off a 6-0 beating from United City FC last weekend.
“Our opponents just ran us ragged. We were tired,” Padernal said.
Stallion Laguna grabbed a precious point after salvaging a 1-1 stalemate with Kaya Iloilo in the second match of the night.
Former Far Eastern U star Jess Melliza fired the equalizer in the 79th minute as Stallion came out rejuvenated in the second half to negate Kaya’s early advantage.
The result could have huge implications for Kaya in the title race. Although coach Yu Hoshide’s side is on top with seven points, UCFC is just a point behind with a match in hand.