HAD it rough in the inaugural season of the Philippines Football League (PFL) last year, Davao Aguilas FC knows all too well that the competition still has ways to go and despite its early gains in the brand-new season more needs to be done from its end.
Following their 1-0 win over Stallion Laguna FC on Sunday, April 8, the Aguilas improved to one win and one draw for four points and good for joint second place early in the second season of the country’s national football league.
The undefeated start for Davao is a far cry from the tough start it had last year that saw it take some considerable time to finally notch its first victory while it tried to find its footing.
In booking their first win in the 2018 PFL season, stalwart and national team player James Younghusband provided the lone goal after heading the ball in the 39th minute to hand his team the lead by the halftime break.
The goal proved to be enough to give Davao the win notwithstanding the tough challenge presented by Stallion in the second half as the former’s defense, led by keeper Nick O’Donnell, held tough to frustrate the home team’s attempts to rally back and take the match.
For his splendid play, Mr. Younghusband was named player of the match after.
“It’s a different team compared to last year. Although we managed to win our game there are still things that we have to work on,” said Davao coach Marlon Maro in the postgame press conference.
“We are lucky we got the stops. Both teams really played well but we’re happy we got the win. It’s a convincing win. It was a close match but in the end we won,” he added.
Davao is parading a “fortified” team this season with Philippine Azkals players Simone Rota and Dennis Villanueva, among others, joining the club.
On the part of Mr. Younghusband, he said his and the other Azkals in the team’s stint in the recent AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers should be a good springboard for them in the 2018 PFL season.
“Our stint with the Azkals gave us confidence heading into this season. And I’m expecting us to do well this year,” Mr. Younghusband said.
Davao will take on Global Cebu FC next on April 15. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo