CFC outlasts Mendiola FC in Copa Paulino Alcantara
CEBU CITY, Philippines– Cebu Football Club (CFC) defeated Mendiola FC 1991, 3-1, in a come-from-behind fashion in the ongoing Copa Paulino Alcantara of the Philippine Football League (PFL) at the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Training Center in Carmona, Cavite on Monday evening, May 2, 2022.
The Turkish-reinforced CFC caught Mendiola off-guard in the second half after striker Arda Çinkir went out with guns blazing by scoring a brace or two goals in the 57th and 72nd minutes.
Hamed Hajimehdi of Mendiola scored the first goal in the 42nd minute of the first half before CFC retaliated.
CFC’s midfielder Mert Altinoz who is also from Turkey put the icing on the cake when he scored the club’s third goal, in the 93rd minute which sealed their back-to-back victories in the tournament.
Also known as the “Gentle Giants,” CFC earned three points from their impressive outing good for the second spot in the team standings with nine points and a clean slate of three wins.
Their previous victory was from a default versus the Azkals Developmental Team which skipped the tournament to campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam later this month.
Kaya FC Iloilo is leading the standings with 13 points with four wins and one draw while at third is United City FC with eight points from a 2-2 (win-draw) slate.
Mendiola FC’s loss to the Gentle Giants put them at the bottom of the standings with two points coming from two draws and four losses.
Çinkir who was named the “Man of the Match,” said that it was their winning mentality that sparked their second-half blitz.
” First of all, we were losing in the first half, but we always had that winning mentality, our winning mentality is very important in the game. Everyone watch out as we will bring more exciting games. Tara Cebu! I got up, I got hurt pretty badly but in the end, I got up, and told myself not to stop. I am very happy that I scored, I am very happy that I won. We want to win all matches and the goal is to win the cup. Thank you to all the guys, my family, and friends, I love you all,” said Çinkir during the post-match interview.
Çinkir impressively played through the match while enduring a cut on the right portion of his forehead.
For his part, CFC’s head coach Mehmet Khakil said that their huddle during halftime focused on correcting their errors in the first half which resulted in Mendiola’s lone goal. The end results were impressive.
“At the halftime, we explained to the players where we made mistakes and I asked them to correct the mistakes. I didn’t want them not to have discipline in the game. What I’m trying to do is to keep the system of the play and the discipline. We did the necessary changes in the second half. I am very happy because the winning mentality is there so it is not difficult to motivate them. I explained to the team we have to play high, press high, keep ball possession on the opponent’s side, use the wings, and finish and that happened. In the second half, the wings worked good and we did a good cross and good passing, so we were able to convert those things to goals. Our philosophy is to never give up and winning mentality,” said Khakil.
Their next match is on Thursday versus Maharlika Manila FC at 4:00 PM. /rcg
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