Ceres La Salle FC secured a maiden title in their UFL First Division debut season with an emphatic 6-0 dismantling of Team Socceroo FC.
Coach Ali Go’s side entered Saturday’s fixture 9 points clear at the top of the league table. The boys from Bacolod needed only a point to clinch the title with two games to spare but were determined to take nothing for granted until the title is mathematically won.
As It Happened
The Busmen started the game ferociously, eager to break down whatever what was on their way. The league leaders only had to wait a minute to test Team Socceroo’s resolve as Orman Okunaiya curled a free kick into the top corner but was denied by the woodwork. The Bacolod lads had tough luck in the opening 30 minutes as they hit the woodwork thrice and had two goals ruled out for offside. The breakthrough came in the 40th minute as an own goal by Arnel Casil marked the collapse of Team Socceroo’s resistance. It was followed quickly by a Nate Burkey penalty. The half ended 2-0 in favor of Ceres La Salle Fc.
The Champions-Elect relentlessly started the second half with the same energy and enthusiasm that made them so successful throughout their dominant season. The league leaders opened the floodgates with a Nate Burkey goal, his second of the game, a third for Ceres La Salle FC. The Bacolodnons kept causing all sorts of problems to Team Socceroo’s defense with their intelligent movement, precise passing and defense-splitting through balls. The waves of attack and pressure were rewarded with a fourth one in the 60th minute. Orman Okunaiya, who has been a constant threat all game with his trickery and movement, scored a screamer. Marwin Angeles and Jeffrey Christiaens added goals of their own to complete the 6-0 rout and seal the title in dominant fashion.
The Ceres faithful, staff and players roared at the final whistle as the yellow balloons and flags of Ceres swarmed the stands of the Rizal Memorial Stadium to start the jubilant celebrations.
The title win grants Ceres FC an entry to the Asian Football Confederation Cup, where they will compete with Asia’s elite.