Another titanic collision is set in Panaad this weekend as Ceres-Negros FC hosts Global Cebu FC in their third PFL encounter on September 24 in Bacolod City.
The two teams have played two games this year with both games ending in 1-0 scorelines for the home squad. Ceres drew first blood in Bacolod with a late strike from Jeffrey Christaens. Global returned the favor in Cebu with a second half goal from Matthew Hartmann.
The upcoming tie is of utmost importance for the rivals as both teams are keen to secure their place in Decembers’ Final Series. Global is currently in third with 34 points while Ceres follow in fourth with 29.
The Cebuanos have played six more games than their Visayan rivals but are keen to overtake Kaya-Makati in second place with a win. The Negrenses meanwhile have to make up for missed games due to the AFC Cup and a win against a top team would significantly lessen their load with a tight schedule ahead.
Both teams will be missing key players in their second clash in Bacolod. Cebu will miss Amani Aguinaldo in defense while Negros will be without Martin Steuble and Luke Woodland who are out with knee injuries.
The attack will be on the spotlight as the two teams will feature the debuts of their star strikers in this matchup. Spanish forwards’ Fernando Rodriguez and Global Cebu’s Rufo Sanchez will make their debut in the rivalry that has dominated domestic league football in the last three years.
Global Cebu Coach Akbar Nawas recognizes the challenge and the long history in play when the two Visayan teams meet. “The rivalry is there. It doesn’t matter where we at at the table. When Ceres meets Global, both teams doesn’t want to lose. That’s the way I’ve seen it over the years,” said the Singaporean mentor.
“We’re very excited tomorrow for our game against Global,” said Ceres assistant coach Ian Treyes. “We are already even in our first two games after winning here and Global winning in Cebu. This will be our fourth game in two weeks and I hope we can get a good result,” he added.
Ceres-Negros in on the tail-end of a tough PFL stretch but goalkeeper Michael Casas doesnt think that it’ll be a factor in tomorrows match. “We don’t have a lot of rest but for me, every time the team has a game, the mentality is high. We have a big advantage also because were playing at home in front of our supporters,” said the Ceres veteran.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 4PM with livestream provided for fans outside Bacolod. There will be free admission to the the grandstand and bleachers section with the gates opening at 2PM.