A resolute performance with only ten men saw Ceres-Negros produce a 1-0 victory over Kaya Iloilo last August 3 at the Aboitiz Pitch in Lipa Batangas. The busmen overcame the sending off of Sean Kane in the first half to continue its mastery over their rivals.
Kaya came out swinging at kickoff as Jordan Mintah tested the Ceres-Negros goal as Roland Muller palmed the ball wide in the first minute. Jovin Bedic tried to sneak in a shot of a corner a minute later but it was just a yard wide off target.
The Iloilo squad had a golden chance to get ahead but Mintahs effort to break the offside was wasted as he shot poorly in front of goal. The Negros squad had its first chance through Stephan Schrock but his shot went wide of the post.
The Busmen would make their rivals pay as Schrock beat his marker in the wings before drew the keeper and released to Porteria who smashed in the goal.
Things would get testy as the match settled down from the initial flurry with fouls given at the center of the park. Ceres-Negros had twin chances after the hour mark from Carli De Murga and Joshua Dutosme but both chances weren’t enough to test the keeper.
Ceres-Negros defender Sean Kane was sent off after getting a second yellow card after complaining to the referee in the 38th minute. Stephan Schrock slid back to rightback to keep the defense intact.
Risto Vidakovic would also get his marching orders five minutes from time after a conversation with the fourth official. The half ended with the busmen leading by a solitary goal.
Kaya FC pushed the tempo at the start of the second half and was rewarded with a penalty as a Ceres player was found to have handled the ball in the box. Bedic tried a cheeky shot from the spot but the ball hit the woodwork to the delight of the Negros fans.
Ceres debutante Robert Lopez Mendy tried a narrow shot in the 57th but he was off target. He would try to outrun his marker minutes alter but his shot went over. Kaya’s Mintah would have his own chance in the 77th but his hurried attempt was way over.
Darryl Roberts had a good chance to equalize minutes from time but his curing shot was easily cleared by De Murga off the line. Substitute Takashi Odawara took a chance with a volley in injury time but the ball went straight to the keeper.
The referee blew the final whistle after three minutes as Ceres-Negros earned the full three points to maintain its lead on top of the standings.
“We are very happy with the result even though we lost one of our players through a red card,” said Ceres-Negros Assitant Coach Ian Treyes. “We know that this is a very hard game and its very important for us.”
“The team prepared for this match and everyone was highly motivated against Kaya. We know how they play and we know how we play so we took full advantage of our strengths and got the victory,” Treyes added.
Ceres-Negros moved to 25 points in the standing with one game in hand over Kaya Iloilo who were pegged at 22. They will next play Mendiola FC on August 10 at the Aboitiz pitch.