Steven Patalinghug sure knows to pick his timing. Coming in as a second-half substitute in the 68th minute, the former Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. Most Valuable Player needed only two minutes to bang in the equalizer for Dynamic Herb Cebu FC against the favorites United Cebu FC in the Copa Alcantara on May 8, 2022.
Patalinghug’s second-half goal canceled former Dynamic Cebu member Ricardo Sendra’s strike in the first half.
The draw sent the Cebu-based club to the top of the table with 13 points on four wins and a draw. Erstwhile leader Kaya FC, which also has 13 points, was regulated to second place on goal difference and the leaders will face off on May 12 to determine who will enjoy the top spot going into the semis.
“I’m super happy. I can’t explain how happy I am especially that it was against UCFC and the club just played in the AFC,” Patalinghug said in a brief chat with Cebu Sports.
It was the first goal in the PFL for the former Look National High School standout who played in the 2015 Palarong Pambansa before joining the USC Goldenbooters as a walk-in.
Patalinghug, whose last stint in the Cesafi earned USC’s fourth straight title, said the new coach’s attacking philosophy is slowly paying off.
“Sometimes, we have difficulties understanding the introductions for the drills that’s why our training sessions ends late. But the goal of our coach is attacking play because last year, we weren’t able to score a single goal,” said Patalinghug, who added life as a pro player is thrice the pressure he faced as a college player.
The new philosophy has resulted to three wins in the campaign, 2-1 against Maharlika, 3-1, against Mendiola and 2-0 against the Stallions in its debut. Dynamic Cebu got a 3-0 win via forfeit against the Azkals Developmental Team, which had to skip its matches in the Copa for the SEA Games.
It’s an honor to play against one of the biggest teams in Philippine football.Steven Patalinghug on his goal against United City FC