Days removed from their weekend encounter, Ceres-Negros FC travels to Mindanao to face Davao Aguilas FC in their home turf on Sept 20 in Tagum City. The Busmen scored a 3-1 victory over the Aguilas last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial.
It was an interesting matchup as the Aguilas paraded their star signings over the ASEAN Zone winners of the AFC Cup. The Negros squad took on the challenge and dominated possession in the first half. Poor finishing however hampered their performance as they led by only one goal in the at the halftime break courtesy of Fernando Rodriguez.
The busmen shifted into a higher gear in the second half when Bienvenido Marañon doubled the advantage minutes from the restart. It became an open game thereafter with Davao chasing to salvage a point. Both teams struggled to convert until Jeffrey Christaens put the game beyond contention with a well-worked goal three minutes from time. Davao’s Harrison Sawyer put the the Aguilas in the scoresheet as Ceres-Negros completed its second win over the Mindanao squad this season.
The news of the victory however was overshadowed days later with the sacking of then Aguilas Coach Gary Phillips. The Australian was replaced by team consultant and National U22 Coach Marlon Maro. Though changes on the opponent may mean a rejuvenation in their play, Ceres-Negros will keep its focus on the task at hand and aim for a good result.
“We won the last game but its difficult for us because its our third game over the last eight days and most of our players are tired already,” said Assistant Coach Ian Treyes. “We will move on with our games and utilize some of our players. We’ll try to play our game and just concentrate on our tactics,” he added.
Ceres newcomer and Mindanao-native Joshua Dutosme shared the same sentiment as the assistant coach. “For me we need to win tomorrow game because its an away game. Last game we had a good team performance but that’s finished already. Now were focused for tomorrows game. We’ll stick to the game plan, follow it, and focus on teamwork for tomorrow,” said the Ceres defender.
A revitalized Davao squad is expected to show up in the Davao Del Norte Sports complex as they fight for survival in the chase for a slot in the final series. The home team would need wins from the current top four to trim the deficit in the remaining games of the regular league season.
Ceres meanwhile is keen to secure points as they are also aiming to maintain their mastery over the southern squad. The match will kickoff at 4PM in Tagum City with a capacity crowd expected in the stadium. A livestream for the match will be available via the PFF Mycujoo channel.
Photo from Bon Servinda/Futbolera PH