Ceres-Negros FC blew past Global Cebu FC to clinch the inaugural Philippines Football League title last December 16 at the Panaad Stadium. Iain Ramsay scored a hat trick while Bienvenido Marañon also fired one for the busmen. Darryl Roberts scored one for the Cebu squad.
Marañon opened the scoring in the 4th minute after redirecting a Ramsay cross for the opening goal. Global almost equalized via Rufo Sanchez but the crossbar was in the way.
The Negros squad double their advantage when Stephan Schröck overran the Cebu defense before releasing to Ramsay who made no mistake in the 20th minute. Junior Muñoz picked a ball from the middle of the park and sprinted to the end before releasing to an open Ramsay who made no mistake and pushed the lead to three goals.
Global had plenty of good chances in the remaining minutes but Roland Muller kept Cebu at bay with fine saves. Ceres had a chance before halftime but Patrick Deyto had his own save.
Ramsay earned a hat-trick after slotting in a Patrick Reichelt assist in the 61st minute to make it four unanswered goals for Ceres. It was all but game over when Roberts converted in front of goal in the 89th. The Malaysian referee blew the final whistle to give Ceres-Negros the 4-1 win and the title.
“Its been a lot of hardwork to get to this stage,” said Man of the Match Iain Ramsay. “Fortunately for us in Ceres we’ve had a lot of success in the AFC Cup, becoming ASEAN Champions. This just caps it off, to win the final. Massive congratulations goes to the whole club of Ceres, the people of Negros, my teammates, and the coaching staff.”
“First of all we would like to thank God for giving us this championship. We thank also boss LRY for the opportunity to be part of this team. To Coach Risto who showed us how to play the best football. For the team, especially to the Man of the Match who scored the hat-trick in this final game. Most of all for the fans who came out from the first up to the last game. We thank you all,” said Assistant Coach Ian Treyes.
It has been a very long year for the Negros squad after clinching the ASEAN Zone title in the AFC Cup and earning the PFL title with suspended coaches and injured players. The Philippine champions will face the Myanmar National League Champions Shan United on January 16 for the 2018 AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage.
Photos from PFL/Mymy Alagaban and Stephen Tan