The most important match of the PFL season comes to Bacolod as Ceres-Negros FC hosts Kaya FC-Makati in the second leg of the PFL Semifinals on December 8 at the Panaad Stadium. The winner of the matchup will not only reach the PFL Final but will also be directly qualified to the 2018 AFC Cup.
Ceres-Negros returns to Negros Occidental with a slim 1-0 advantage from the first leg. The Busmen produced a late goal in injury time through a Stephan Schröck goal in the 92nd. The veteran player willed his way into the opponents box for a left footed shot that found its way to the back of the net.
It will be another difficult match for Ceres in Bacolod as they had difficulty in breaking down the Kaya defense in the first leg in UMak. The LBC-backed squad had a sound defensive game plan which prevented Ceres from dangerous incursions in the final third.
It was the Makati who had created better chances in the first leg with Roland Muller denying Robert Mendy in a one-on-one and a Mendy shot rattling the crossbar just minutes from time.
Negros had plenty of shots in the match but they were mostly off target. Iain Ramsay and Carlie de Murga had chances of their own in the game but Ref Cuaresma was there to produce quality saves on goal.
The late goal in the match gave the busmen some form of relief after the first leg but Stephan Schröck and company are well aware of the bigger challenge that awaits in Bacolod.
“We’re happy with the little advantage we have for the second leg, but we know Kaya will do everything to win it. You can be sure we’ll be ready to do everything to win as well,” said Schröck.
Ceres-Negros will welcome back OJ Porteria and Patrick Reichelt from suspension. The two squads will not be missing players due to bookings from the first semifinal leg.
The winner of the match will automatically earn a spot in the group stage of the AFC Cup after changes in the competition allowed the Philippines two spots in the annual tournament. With plenty of incentives on the table, both teams will surely go for glory in this match.
Negros fans can avail of grandstand tickets on December 8 from 10am to 5pm at the Panaad Stadium. There will be free entrance to the North and South bleachers of the stadium for those who can’t make the distribution schedule.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 7pm on Saturday with a livestream available through the PFF Mycujoo Channel.