Ceres-Negros continues its Philippines Football League campaign when it faces a reinforced Ilocos United FC on Saturday, September 30, at the Panaad Park and Stadium. The Northern squad will parade a stronger squad in its second visit to the city of smiles.
Ilocos United visited Bacolod last July 7 with a depleted lineup which resulted to a 7-0 drubbing in Panaad. OJ Porteria scored a brace while Jeffrey Christaens, Fernando Rodriguez, Super Herrera, Patrick Reichelt, and man of the match Stephan Schrock all scored a goal each in the win.
It will be different however when northern representatives arrive for the September match. United has brought in veterans to strengthen their maiden campaign in the PFL thru former Loyola centerback Adam Mitter, Kaya midfielder Charlie Beaton, and Global striker Arthur Kouassi.
The three players have linked-up nicely with the tough Ilocos core which has resulted to Ilocos’ first win against JPV Marikina. Former Ceres player Angelo Marasigan led a come-from-behind win when he scored an free kick to equalize the match before Kennedy Uzoka put them ahead late in the match.
Ilocos would be keen to continue the momentum of their first win, armed with a complete lineup, and with better team play overall. Ceres-Negros is also riding on their own momentum with an unbeaten run of three games with the last match seeing a 1-0 conquest of rivals Global Cebu.
The Busmen are coming off a tough stretch this September after injuries affected the depth of the squad. Captain Martin Steuble is coming off a minor surgery which will leave him out for a definite time. Patrick Reichelt and Luke Woodland are still reeling from knocks from the Azkals camp and will be unavailable for a few weeks.
With national team duty looming for most Ceres players, the Bacolod squad may need to tap from its talented bench in their forthcoming match in Bacolod. SEAG standout veteran Joshua Grommen and former Azkal Arnie Pasinabo Jr. are expected to feature against the revitalized Ilovos side.
The match is set for for 7pm for the second meeting of both squads in history. There will be free admission in the grandstand and bleachers areas for the fans in Panaad. A livestream will be provided in the PFF Mycujjoo site and will be posted in the social media accounts of Ceres-Negros and the PFL.