Ceres-Negros FC whipped up a seven-goal performance to earn three points against a depleted Ilocos United in their first Philippines Football League match at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. OJ Porteria topscored with two goals with five others scoring one each including Man of the Match Stephan Schrock.
It didn’t take long for the home side to put themselves in the scoresheet, Fernando Rodriguez’s neat run in the middle saw the striker laying off to Porteria who puts the ball into space for Schrock. The veteran made no mistake, blasting the ball past Baba Sampana for the opening goal in the 13th minute.
Ceres would double the advantage when Schrock crossed in a ball in the 26th which was received by Jeffrey Christaens who broke the offside trap before shooting to the far post for the goal. The Busmen would make it 3-0 in the 31st after a clearance fell into Rodriguez who was unmarked with his left footed shot hitting the back of the net. Ceres would get plenty of chances in between but the half ended with the home squad in full control.
Ilocos would try to get on the score sheet at the start of the second half getting twin chances after the restart. A well worked play saw Dominic Del Rosario shooting wide with Ben Tolete skying one from the edge of the of the box. The visitors would almost get on the score sheet with Ceres almost getting an error after Michael Casas slipped from the rain-drenched pitch after a back pass. The veteran keeper however made it back in time to clear the danger off the line.
The Busmen would get another goal when he controlled a through ball before flicking it in goal in the 69th minute. He would complete his brace when he bundled home an Iain Ramsay cross two minutes later. Centerback Manuel “Super” Herrera would get himself into the score sheet after he headed in a corner in the 83rd for his first Ceres goal. The yellow and black would complete the scoring in injury time when Patrick Reichelt headed in and Arnie Pasinabo cross to score the seventh and last goal for Ceres.
It was a comprehensive win for the Negros squad after stumbling in Cebu in their last PFL match. The game marked a seven-game stretch over twenty one days for the squad who is bound for the zonal finals of the AFC Cup.
“Our team is very proud for the performance of the players in this match,” said Ceres Assistant Coach Pepe Losada who was standing in for the Risto Vidakovic who was serving a suspension. “Overall for the whole time of the match it was raining, so its important to have high performance from the players and to score seven goals makes (the crowd) noisy. So we are very proud for this,” added the Fitness Coach.
Schrock had nothing but praises for the club. “We can be very proud of the team. At the end of so many games in such a short time. Everybody was still at the good level and good concentration. We showed that were a team. OJ had had two goals and everyone scored. We have to mention Kiki (Reichelt). After a ten month break, we are very very happy that we are able to give him a goal in his comeback. Congratulations to Kiki and for the team as well.
Ceres now has a week before matching up with Meralco Manila, who as of press time are on top of the PFL Table. Schrock is delighted for this break which can give the team some more time to prepare for the matchup. “We are happy that we have some training session in between. The last 3 1/2 weeks, we barely trained. We were just resting and getting ready for the games. Now we have seven days to prepare, I think we can the confidence from this game and were looking forward. They’re (Meralco) on top of the table and we want a good result and of course the three points.”
Ceres temporarily moved up to fourth place with Kaya FC-Makati still having a game at hand. They will face Meralco on June 15 at the Rizal Memorial before going back to Bacolod for twin matches with the Davao Aguilas on the 22nd and the 26th.
File photo from Philippines Football League