United City FC kicks off PFL title defense campaign with win over Maharlika

United City FC clinches their first win in the PFL. (United City Football Club Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The United City Football Club successfully began its bid for another Philippines Football League (PFL) championship title after crushing the Maharlika-Manila football team, 5-0, in the 2022-2023 season.

Pitch rust was never an issue for the former Ceres-Negros Football Club as their strikers were all in a groove from the get-go of the duel.

Curt Dizon immediately gave the defending champions a sigh of relief after drawing first blood against Maharlika and exposed their loose backline defense every time they pressured their way for a goal.

Minutes after the Dizon conversion, Alen Robertson followed it up with another score and doubled their lead after shooting past Maharlika’s goalkeeper.

Maharlika recalibrated on the defensive end and was quick to send help to the midfield in an attempt to disrupt United City’s offensive flow but Matthew Custodio joined in the goal party and sent their third goal of the match in just the first half.

It was a different approach for Maharlika during the second half after doubling their intensity in every offensive possession.

The underdogs had two solid attempts in just a span of 20 minutes including a penalty from Kim Sungmin but United City’s goalkeeper Jun Badelic provided the much-needed defensive stop that kept its clean sheet.

Kenshiro Daniels and Cholo Bugas then capped off United City’s scintillating performance after adding two more goals that sucked the life out of the Maharlika squad.

The United City booters are eyeing a back-to-back PFL championship title and are looking to continue their dominance since winning the Copa Paulino Alcantara Cup a few months ago.