Ceres-Negros FC returned to winning ways after a Bienvenido Marañon hat trick powered the home side to a 3-1 win over Kaya FC-Makati last June 24 at the Panaad Stadium. Robert Lopez Mendy scored the lone goal for the visitors.
It was a thrilling first half for both squads as the Busmen piled the pressure over Kaya creating chances and pushing the visitors to the hilt. The LBC-backed squad were no pushovers as they also troubled Roland Muller on the opposing end generating their own shots throughout the opening half. It was only in injury time when the deadlock was broken when Marañon beat the offside trap and pinged the ball over a very sharp Ref Cuaresma to score the opener for the home side.
Kaya equalized ten minutes after the restart when Jovin Bedic issued a great cross to Mendy who’s one-time volley planted the Ceres keeper in his spot and his goal at the back of the net. Ceres pushed for a go-ahead goal after the restart and were awarded a penalty in the 69th minute after Cuaresma clipped Marañon at the end of the box as he was collecting a dangerous loose ball. Marañon converted from the spot to the delight of the almost four thousand home fans.
The Makati-based squad pushed for an equalizer which opened up the action in the final twenty minutes for both squads. A brilliant individual effort in the 88th saw Marañon nutmeg his defender before unleashing a perfectly hit shot to the top corner to complete the scoring in the match. The Spaniard was declared the Man of the match for his hat trick performance which gave the home side the full three points.
“I’m so happy for the three goals but especially for the three points of the team,” said Marañon “I’m so happy for the win, for my three goals. I think this game is very hard after two losses but I think we fought to win this game and we deserve the result,” added the Spanish midfielder.
With Kaya doing a defensive approach in most parts of the game, Ceres Coach Risto Vidakovic expects the same from visiting teams in the next home games. “I think we will see it every game here because the teams that come will defend like how Kaya defended today. It was not easy for us because we missed a lot of chances in the first half. In the one opportunity they had in the second half, they scored so its not easy to play,” said the Spanish mentor.
Vidakovic again lamented the state of refereeing as it brings down the upward trajectory of the league. “You have to play with the referees also because we are almost attacking here it home so if you don’t give fouls, and they play a foul, its a counter attack for sure. Its a difficult for us to play. I think the referees need to improve a lot because the league is, I think, reaching a higher level and they will have to follow.
Ceres will next play Stallion Laguna in back to back matches on June 28 and July 1 in Panaad. The first match on Wednesday will kick off at 4PM with the second match on Saturday to be played at 7PM. The Laguna-based squad held league leaders Meralco Manila to a 1-1 draw earlier in the day at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.