Ceres-Negros bowed to a resilient JPV Marikina side in the second half of their first PFL encounter with JPV scoring a 2-1 win in at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last June 17, 2017. Takumi Uesato and Jay Baguioro scored one goal apiece for the Japanese flavored squad with Bienvenido Maranon scoring one for the Negrense side.
It was a lethargic start for both teams in the first half as the two squads made very little headway in front of goal. Uesato started treading the defense early when his shot from a very tight angle hit the side netting in the 4th. The Japanese striker tried to be cheeky a minute later with a long range attempt from 35 yards that landed on the roof of the net.
Ceres would work their way into the match when it earned three consecutive corners near the 12th minute. The final corner from Martin Steuble was flicked in play by debutant Simone Rota but Jason De Jong slipped in front of goal before he could take the shot.
Both teams would play a tricky midfield battle in the searing heat with both squads getting half chances in the middle of the first half. Uesato would shoot his header wide while OJ Porteria missed a chance made by Arnie Pasinabo and Maranon.
The Marikina-based squad would have a golden chance in the 34th when Uesato setup Odawara for a clean shot towards goal but his shot curled wide of the target. Maranon would connect of a free kick from the wings but his shot curled out to the goal line. The two players would again try minutes from time but a tight shot from Uesato and a twenty-five yard free kick from Maranon were all wide. The half finished with both squads scoreless.
The second half was a far cry from the first as both clubs pushed the action to produce a winner. A good buildup from Ceres saw a cross going over Pasinabo who was unmarked in the middle. The resulting counterattack allowed Uesato an open shot in the opposite box which was saved well by Roland Muller.
JP Voltes almost opened the scoring moments later when Masaki Yanagawa lofted to ball towards Koichi Belgira who faked his defender but shot over the bar in the 54th minute. They would be rewarded moments later when a penalty was awarded after Uesato outran the Ceres defense forcing Kota Kawase to hold on the striker which was adjudged a foul. Uesato would make no mistake, slotting the ball to the bottom corner, and giving his team the 1-0 lead in the 56th.
The Bacolod side fought back minutes later when Maranon had a shot in the face of goal blocked with the resulting rebound from substitute Stephan Schrock and Kawase covered well by the JPV defense. Martin Steuble sent a cross in the 65th minute towards De Jong who didn’t have enough contact in the ensuing header to trouble Nelson Gasic.
It was controversial a minute later when a through ball by substitute Kevin Ingreso allowed Porteria to run unopposed into the box. JPV keeper came out with a two legged challenge tripping the Ceres winger but no penalty was give by referee Ariel Montana.
The Japan-Philippine team almost scored a second goal when another breakaway by Uesato gave him enough space for a lovely ball to Odawara who then released the ball in the opposite flank to an open Allen Angeles. The JPV winger squared the ball towards goal but Junior Munoz slid towards goal just in time to block the Voltes attempt.
Marikina would get their insurance goal when a Jay Baguioro beat the offside trap before faking his defender and shooting towards the bottom corner for the 2-0 lead in the 79th. Ceres would get a consolation goal minutes later when Maranon redirected the cross to the back of the net to make it 2-1. JP Voltes held on in the dying minutes to seal the win in their first home match against the Visayan powerhouse.
In the post match press conference, Ceres Coach Risto Vidakovic lamented the quality of the refereeing when asked about the inconsistency of calls through out the match. ” I think the problem here is the referees, they don’t know the rules. That a big handicap for the Philippine League. We don’t have good referees but they make mistakes for both teams so I think they’re honest that they have to learn.”
The Spanish mentor however gave full credit to JPV for winning the match. “I don’t want to look for an excuse. We played with the players we have so I think they deserve the win,” said the former La Liga veteran when quizzed about player availability after the FIFA break. “In the second half they (JPV Marikina) played better and they won it. That’s all for me. They’re tactically very organized so we know before that match that they will be very difficult to play,” added the Ceres Coach.
The win propelled JPV Marikina to second spot with ten points while Ceres remain unchanged at fifth place with four points after three matches. Ceres-Negros FC will next face Kaya FC-Makati in the Philippines Football League at home on June 24. They will also be playing Hougang United in Singapore for the preliminary match for the RHB Singapore Cup on June 20.