UFL: GAU held by new-look Pasargad, Army merges with GTI and wins

Reports on Thursday's UFL League Division One matches in Emperador Stadium.

Green Archers United Globe 1, Pasargad 1.

The Archers were held to a second draw in as many games by a revamped Pasargad side.

Pasargad's Simon Bayameg opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a ferocious long-range volley that GAU keeper Patrick Deyto couldn't contain. Deyto had earlier brilliantly snuffed out two attempts.

Four minutes after the second half began Gabe Olowoyeye of United nodded home from close range but the goal was correctly waved off for offside.

Then in the 70th Dodong Villareal got an equalizer, heading a Chieffy Caligdong free kick from the left flank past Pasargad keeper Russel Pierson.

What followed was a barrage of GAU chances as their opponents seemed to wilt under the pressure. Jesse Martindale, Caligdong, Villareal, Arvin Soliman, Jovan Simpron, and Park Jun Soo all failed in their attempts at a go-ahead goal. Pierson was superb in the last twenty minutes, rushing out well twice to smother shots by Caligdong.

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On the other side, Deyto produced a magnificent reaction save to deny Pauli Dumagan's header four minutes before time.

With time winding down Caligdong nearly got the winner but his free kick from just outside the box slammed into the bottom of the crossbar and bounced around in the six yard box. Boiboi Fernandez's attempt to nudge it in was gamely cleared by the desperate Pasargad defense.

Pearson must have been thankful to hear the referee's whistle ending the match, since he complained about suffering from asthma near the end.

GAU is now pegged at two points after drawing Stallion 2-2 in their first game.

It's an encouraging start for a retooled Pasargad that is vastly different from previous iterations of the team. There were only a handful of holdovers from last year's side, namely Belinga Blanchard, Promise Jolomi, Kalilou Toure, and Jay Torres.

Pasargad was coached by Ayi Aryee Nii. The Ghanaian, formerly from UP, also played in the UFL for Global, GAU, and Manila Jeepney. The 28-year old says he still wants to play in the second division come the transfer window.

Army merges with General Trias International, beats Socceroo.

Philippine Army has taken a novel approach towards staying in the top flight after nearly getting relegated in last year's league: they have enlisted unlikely bedfellows from Korea.

Army is now known as Army FC GTI after absorbing seven Koreans from non-league General Trias International. The move was necessitated after Army lost Meliton Pelayo to Stallion (his honorable discharge is still being processed), and have seen Relan Bretaña also leave the side. Army coach Ricky Cain also says the team is straining from the realities of being a military team, where players are often called into duty and are at times unable to train.

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Stepping into the team are Choi Yong Ok, Hong Seong Wook, Kang Dae Han, Nam Gi Won, Seok Jeon Shin, and Song Woo. GTI had previously joined the last two UFL Cups but never the league.

The military-Korean squad had a terrific debut, desposing of Team Socceroo 4-0 with strikes from Song, Seok, Laurence Bedua, and Nam.

Cain also revealed that the Army side of the marriage is still very much in command of the team. The coach also said that the move has some precedent within the military, since Army's women's Volleyball team has also accommodated foreigners.

Ed Sacapaño did not start the match in goal for Army but came in as a late sub for the excellent Hong Seong Wook. It was revealed that the Azkal couldn't start because he only recently returned from a vacation and was unable to train sufficiently.

For Team Socceroo, the misery at the top flight continues. They slump to their second defeat in as many Division One outings. Last Tuesday they succumbed to Pachanga PLDT Home Fibr 2-0. Kleng Cacacho's wards have surrendered six goals and scored none in the two games.

Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH.