UFL First Division 2016
|August 17, 2016||4:00 PM||United Football League First Division||2016|
|Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium, Manila, Metro Manila|
|Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines|
Ceres-La Salle FC were again brought down to earth after Stallion FC came from two goals down to equalize in the final twenty minutes and finish the match with a stunning draw. The Bacolod squad led in the half but a red card for Captain Sang Min Kim changed the complexion of the match adding more problems to their fading title chase.
It was the Busmen who set the pace early in the first half with Patrick Reichelt scoring the opener after heading in Stephan Schröck’s cross in the 13th minute. The Bacolod squad doubled the lead in the 26th when Adrian Gallardo deceived the Stallion defense with a brilliant turn and slotted the ball past Roland Sadia.
Stallion had the ball at the back of the net two minutes later with a Fitch Arboleda shot off a free kick but the Stallion midfielder was adjudged offside. The Gilligans-backed squad had a flurry of chances in the 34th which served as a warning to the Ceres defense of their potent attack. Nathan Alquiros’ header hit the crossbar with a follow up shot by his teammate cleared off the line by Yong Chan Son. A third try was attempted but the ball just passed the face of the goal. Ceres would go into the break with a two-goal advantage.
The match turned to its head in the hour mark when Sang Min was given a second yellow and with it came marching orders from referee Linjun Talaver. Stallion immediately probed the makeshift backline when a counterattack led by Ashley Flores allowed a Reuben Doctora shot that was just wide. The Gilligans-backed squad had another chance in the 70th minute when Alquiros’ shot from the edge of the box went over the crossbar.
Stallion would be rewarded two minutes after when Doctora broke past his marker and headed the ball towards an open Arboleda. The former UE standout made no mistake from point blank range and scored the first for Stallion. The underdogs were again dangerous moments later when a teasing ball reaches the Ceres box with keeper Louie Casas heading the ball away a few meters off the box. Doctora collected the ball from thirty-five yards and tried to lob one past Casas but his shot was well wide.
Ceres had a chance to close out the match when Gallardo chased a through ball in the Stallion box. The Spaniard tried to flick the ball from a tight angle but the ball was tapped out by Sadia. Stallion was however awarded the goal kick instead of a Ceres corner. Stallions persistence was rewarded four minutes from time when a cross from Dong Bae found its way to fellow substitute Terence Linatoc who shook off his defender and scored the the equalizer for the former double winners.
The result put Ceres in third place in the league with 29 points trailing Loyola by a point and Global with 5 points. Global, who still has a game in hand, can extend its lead against Ceres to 8 points with a win. The Busmen now set their sights to their August 21 match against Tampines Rovers in the first leg of the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals. The match will be held at the Jurong West Stadium with kickoff starting at 730PM.