Ceres FC moves within a point of debut season UFL Division 1 title glory following a commanding 2-0 win over Kaya FC.
Ceres started the game on the backfoot despite Kaya FC missing star striker Louis Clark through suspension. With Kaya piling pressure early in the game, Ceres was happy to keep them from arm’s length and rely on the counter. Greatwich threatened with a well-taken free kick which went over the bar while Ayew tried his luck from the edge of the box but Casas effortlessly collected the shot. Hanley came agonizingly close to open the scoring in the 19th minute, only for Juani Guirado to deny him with a brilliant last ditch tackle.
The busmen were starting to worry the Kaya backline with some quick and sharp counter attacking plays. The crowd was on their feet when Martin Steuble connected a free kick with Marañon, only for Bienve to blast his shot off target. Neither team were willing to give cheap goals as both defenses prevailed on both ends of the pitch. Kaya FC almost broke the deadlock, Ceres having Casas to thank as he excellently tipped the goal bound effort from OJ Porteria’s long range deflected shot.
Patrick Reichelt danced his way in the right flank to send a dangerous low cross towards Lee Jeong Woo who attracted the defense and allowing Marañon to slot the ball for the 39th minute breakthrough.
Ceres FC started the second half dangerously as they ferociously attacked the Kaya defense, looking for the insurance second goal. Kaya defense held on to repel wave after wave against Ceres’ attacking three. Kaya was pushing for an equalizer but it was the league leaders who doubled the scoreline in the 58th minute when Manny Ott exploited a space in the middle and made a galloping run. He played the ball to Adrian Gallardo who was marked by Kaya Captain Masa Omura but Omura flopped his lines and left Gallardo free at the top of the box to strike past the Kaya goalkeeper, sending the Ceres fans and bench into frenzy.
Ceres FC decided to shut the doors as they sat back and frustrate Kaya FC with a solid and organized second half defensive performance. Kim Sang Min was inspirational with his well-timed tackles and intelligent positioning proving difficult for Kaya to overcome. His partnership with Guirado in the heart of the Ceres defense were vital in marshalling the Ceres backline and defensive midfield. A tremendous team defensive effort from Ceres FC starved the attackers of Kaya as they cut off the supply lines.
The Ceres fans were on their toes as Michael Casas denied Kaya in the injury time. Louie Michael Casas was instrumental on goal as the Bacolod shot stopper fantastically dealt with whatever effort came his way. A goal-line clearance from Orman Okunaiya ensures that the match ends 2-0 with Ceres FC continuing its dominant form and move within a point of the title, nine points clear from the chasing pack with two games to go.
Ceres (4-2-3-1): Casas; Victorino, Kim Sang Min, Guirado (c), Sabio; Steuble, Ott; Reichelt, Lee Jeong Woo, Marañon; Gallardo.
Scorers Marañon 38, Gallardo 58
Ceres La Salle FC will take on Team Socceroo FC on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. A win, a draw or a Global FC defeat will be enough to crown Ceres FC the champions of UFL first division 2015.