PRESS RELEASE – A 4-2 victory by Table 35/Fuji Ichiban Espada FC over Guam Shipyard in a semifinal match of the Bank of Guam 7th Annual GFA Cup was enough to book a ticket to the championship match of the annual tournament for the second consecutive year.
Espada, looking to avenge its 2013 loss, again is matched up against the top team from the Budweiser Soccer League, except this year, the Rovers DI will be attacking its goal. The Rovers DI eliminated the Southern Cobras with a 5-1 win in the tournament’s other semifinal match to set up the final with Espada. The Cobras had earlier defeated 2013 champions Quality Distributors FC in the quarterfinals.
Statistically, the Rovers DI have the upper hand over the two-time finalist, winning three out of four fixtures during the 2013-2014 season, outscoring Espada 16-6.
Espada, however, already has defied statistical odds with its victory over Guam Shipyard in the tournament. In four BSL fixtures in the 2013-2014 season, Espada lost twice and drew twice to its GFA Cup semifinal opponent.
In the Guam Shipyard-Table 35/Fuji Ichiban Espada FC GFA Cup semifinal match, Isiah Lagutang opened scoring for both teams on a goalmouth scramble following Dylan Naputi’s corner kick. Andre Gadia managed to head the ball down to Lagutang, who had enough space to fire his shot past Shipyard keeper Kalen Lizama.
About five minutes later, Guam Shipyard’s Gideon Tyquiengco breezed down the touchline past Espada defenders on the left side and crossed the ball into the box, eventually finding Marcus Lopez for the equalizing finish.
Espada later regained the upper hand, taking advantage of a pushing foul in the box on another corner kick play. Mark Chargualaf successfully sent in his shot from the penalty kick spot for the 2-1 lead moments before the halftime whistle and the team never looked back.
Lagutang scored another goal in the second half and teammate Raymond Macias added one more in the closing minutes for the 4-1 advantage. Guam Shipyard’s Christopher Santos later scored in the 90th minute for the final score.
In the late semifinal match, Natsuki Recella, Ian Mariano, David McCallum, Yaw Antwi-Agyei, and Ben Young scored in the Rovers DI’s victory over the Cobras. Ashton Surber scored the Cobras’ lone goal in the 14th minute.
The Rovers scored as many times as they were shown yellow cards, including four cautions in the second half. The Cobras were down one man by the 55th minute after Keith Surber was shown his second yellow card of the match, just four minutes following his first card.
The tournament’s final match between the Rovers DI and Espada is set to kick off at 7 p.m. Sunday. An awards ceremony will take place immediately following the championship match. There is no admission fee to watch the match.
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