Ceres-Negros FC returns to action after the international break when it faces a resurgent Kaya FC-Makati at the Panaad Stadium on October 14. The Busmen are keen to trim the six point lead by Kaya who are currently second in the table.
The two squads have played tight matches in the Philippines Football League starting from their 1-1 draw on opening day in UMak stadium. Iain Ramsay scored the opener just before halftime before Marwin Angeles scored the equalizer twenty minutes from time.
The second match was also similarly tough with Ceres scoring late in the first half thru Bienvenido Maranon. Jovin Bedic would equalize in the second half but Maranon powered through the Kaya defence to earn a penalty. The Spaniard converted from the spot for the lead before completing his hat trick late in the match for the 3-1 win.
Buoyed from winning the ASEAN Zone in the AFC Cup, the Busmen erected a 2-0 lead from two superb strikes from Omid Nazari and Dodz Pasinabo. Nazari outsmarted a Kaya defensive wall by striking low towards goal for the opener while Pasinabo curled in a beauty towards the top corner.
Robert Mendy would score for Kaya with an opportunistic strike but Maranon tapped in a Fernando Rodriguez cross to make it 3-1. Jordan Mintah scored a consolation goal in injury time but it wasn’t enough as Ceres earned its second straight over Kaya.
Both teams are currently on two-game winning runs in the PFL. Ceres-Negros scored a 1-0 win over Global Cebu before their 5-0 win against Ilocos United. Kaya-Makati dumped Stallion Laguna 4-0 before their inspired 2-1 win over league leaders Meralco Manila.
The busmen are currently in third place with 35 points, six adrift of the LBC-backed squad. For the home squad, it will be a chance to trim the lead to three points with many games to spare. The visitors however can steal the top spot from Meralco if they produce a win in Bacolod.
Ceres-Negros will come into the match without Manny Ott who incurred a knee injury with the national team over the FIFA break. Ott’s absence is a major loss for the squad who already had a few players out due to injuries.
Even with some key absences from Ceres, the match is still tipped as an explosive affair this weekend as two of the highest scoring teams in the PFL face off.
The final encounter both in the regular season is set at 7pm in the Panaad with free entrance to ninety percent of the stadium. The match will be stremed live via the PFF Mycuoo channel.