The Leylam FC Team B will represent the Philippines to the World Football Fives (F5WC) in Dubai after clinching the national title over the weekend at the Chelsea Blue Pitch in Makati City, Metro Manila.
The Leylam FC Team earned the ticket to represent the country in Dubai after a 1-0 edging of Aspire Las Pinas in the finals.
Michael Pacite scored the winning goal with barely five minutes left in the championship match.
Aside from Casipe, other members of the team are Alex Buanghog Jr., Ranulfo Colina, Ruffy Llorente, Jaime Pedoroso Jr., Carlo Tacusalme and Ugur Tasci, the team owner.
Except for Tasci, who is Turkish, the rest of the team members are Filipino.
Head coach Oliver Colina said that after a three-week preparation for this tournament, the win was still unexpected.
“Instead of just training twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we added an MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) schedule to prepare for this tournament. When I saw how the other teams played here, I knew we had a chance,” Colina said.
Leylam FC B’s sister team, Leylam FC A, made it to the semifinals but bowed out after loosing to Samba, 0-2, in a shootout.
All the teams were divided into groups with four teams each in the national finals eliminations. Leylam FC B was grouped in B with Manila Metros, MCFC and Cagayan de oro, which failed to show up for the tournament.
Leylam FC B won all of its elimination matches and went on to boot out Luntien United, 3-1, in the quarterfinals. The team then earned a finals ticket via a 3-1 thrashing of Manila Tigers.
In the world finals in Dubai slated for April 23 to 25, Leylam FC B will go up against 47 other countries.