06 April 2010

Miracle Team's Miraculous Shot

Mario Titoy and the entire Philippine team will be welcomed back as heroes after topping the Deloitte Street Child World Cup indoor football tournament in Durban, South Africa.

GMANews.TV reported that the Philippines squad, virtual underdogs in the week-long tournament staged as a build-up to the 2010 South Africa World Cup in June, arrives in Manila on 24 March 2010.

Dubbed the "Miracle" team, the RP booters scored a 2-1 win over host South Africa in extra time to win the Shield trophy in the consolation match. India won the championship with a thrilling 1-0 decision over Tanzania.

The Philippines finished fifth overall in the eight-nation tournament, which aimed to bring the plight of homeless children worldwide, but earned the right of facing South Africa in the consolation match after a 3-0 decision over Ukraine in the semifinals.

Titoy scored both goals for the RP booters.

The South Africans, cheered on by the hometown crowd, drew first blood in the seventh minute.

But the Filipinos, determined to prove their worth against the world’s football powerhouse, tied the count four minutes later on Titoy's first goal.

Both teams failed to score in regulation forcing the game to go into overtime.

Pressing on with their attack, Titoy once again found an opening to head the winning goal three minutes into the extra period. The visitors then hung on to complete the hard-earned victory.

It was the RP booters’ third straight win as the Jess Landagan-coached squad also earned the bragging rights of beating football titans in African, Europe and South America.

The Philippines stunned powerhouse and No. 2 ranked Brazil, 6-2, for their other win that somehow eased the pain of their losses against United Kingdom (4-2) and Tanzania (2-0) in the elimination round matches.