Pachanga FC has had a banner first season in the United Football League, steamrolling most of its opponents en route to clinching the Division Two title.
In 21 matches, the Red Phoenix has not lost any matches and only had one draw. The way they beat teams was also astonishing; they’ve had 13-nil wins three times, while winning 8-nil thrice and 7-nil twice. So far, they have piled up 121 goals while giving up just seven, for a whopping goal differential of 114 with just one match left on their schedule.
Pachanga, one of the seven newcomers in the league, also had a mighty showing in the UFL Cup. Being drawn in the so-called ‘group of death’ with Stallion Giligan’s, Global FC, and Cebu Queen City United, they still managed to win two matches and draw one to top Group C.
The run, however, was cut short after Global defeated Pachanga in the quarterfinals.
For team owner and top scorer Freddy Gonzalez, the team has to work harder when playing against the big boys of Division One.
“Sa first division, the difference is if you are not on top of your game, teams can punish you,” said Gonzalez, who leads the UFL with 33 goals. “Some days if you’re playing well, you can win. If you’re playing bad and the other teams are playing well, then they’ll win.”
The former national team striker noted the neck-and-neck battle for the first division crown.
“We’ve seen it in Loyola, Kaya and Global, they go back and forth with each other,” Gonzales said, referring to the three teams still in the hunt for the championship with just a few games left in the season.
Team manager Jojo Rodriguez, meanwhile, said that with a few more roster tweaks, Pachanga will be strong enough to challenge the top teams in the first division.
“We are not closing our doors to get some players,” Rodriguez said. “I think we can give them a fight.”
Gonzalez shared Rodriguez’ optimism. After all, he said, they already faced some of Division One teams in the past, such as in the UFL Cup and club tournaments, and had decent results against them.
“There’s a few players and positions we’re gonna get but the core is already set,” Gonzalez said. “Definitely, we can give them a run for their money.”