Ceres-Negros FC stumbled to a 2-2 draw when it hosted JPV Marikina last October 18 at the Panaad Stadium. The Busmen surrendered two goals against a 10-man Marikina squad in a second half.
The home team came out with the first attempt in the 13th minute when Bienvenido Maranon found Iain Ramsay on the wings who then released a stinger that was tapped out by Jun Tripulca.
The visitors also had their own two minutes later when when a deflected ball found its way to Takumi Uesato who’s attempt was blocked for a corner. The resulting play saw Takashi Odawara glancing in a header but Roland Muller was there for the save.
Ceres would take control midway in the first half with plenty of forays into the box, one of which was through Fernando Rodriguez. Maranon’s ball ricocheted off a defender and towards the striker who just hit his shot wide.
The Busmen would be awarded for their persistence when Maranon picked-up a free ball and pushed into the box before he was swept down by Lemuel Unabia in the 23rd minute.
Referee Mick John Pineda pointed to the spot but JPV’s PJ Fadrigalan pushed down the referee after the call. The defender was sent off before Rodriguez stepped forward to bury the ball to the bottom corner for the opening goal in the 25th.
The Marikina squad trued to pull a quick counter of the restart but OJ Porteria clearead away the danger. They would have another chance minutes later but Odawara’s weak shot went straight to the keeper.
JPV had the best chance to equalize in the 37th when a strike from Odawara was blocked by Muller. Atsushi Shimono collected the ball in front of goal but he made a poor shot in front of goal.
The rain got stronger near halftime with both teams struggling to show any form as the water impeded any form of passing.
It was Ceres who made the most of the situation when a counter from the Spanish compatriots saw Maranon releasing to Rodriguez in the box. The striker faked his defender before shooting past Triplulca to score his brace. The halftime whistle blew with Ceres-Negros going 2-0 ahead.
The Negros tried to score another in the first ten minutes but the slightly waterlogged conditions made it more difficult for them. Consecutive attempts from Maranon and Kevin Ingreso were off target for the Busmen.
The Voltes squad were making headway near the hour mark when Uesato made a back header of a Satoshi Otomo corner. Muller was there however to tap it over the bar.
The Japanese striker made a dangerous run in the 65th but the water stifled his momentum stopping the ball near the penalty spot. Carlie de Murga challenged for the ball forcing Uesato to take a shot that went fully wide.
Tripulca made a fine save moments later when a weak clearance allowed Rodriguez to take a left footed which the keeper saved just in time.
JPV Marikina found the back of the net in the 71st when Uesato broke free into the box and shot in the near post to make it 2-1.
The NCR squad were pulling off successful attacks one of which forced Muller to a point blank save off a Shimono shot. The Japan-Philippines side was awarded a penalty in the 79th after a challenge in the box.
Odawara blasted the ball to the top corner but the referee waved the goal out after an early incursion by a JPV player. The second attempt from the midfielder was saved by Muller but the linesman raised his flag deeming that the keeper got off his line early.
The JPV veteran would make no mistake in his third attempt to drill in the equalizer for the visitors.
The Busmen charged for a go ahead goal but were denied three consecutive times. A good cross from Rodriguez in the 88th saw the JPV defense heading the ball clear before Ramsay can put it in.
Unabia was again called for a foul in the box in injury time which allowed Ceres to win the match. Rodriguez picked his spot but Tripulca saved the weak shot before a follow up by Dr Murga was cleared off the face of goal by Odawara.
The match would end with both teams settling for a 2-2 draw in their first encounter in the Panaad Stadium. The result meant that the Bacolod squad would stay in third place, six points behind league leaders FC Meralco Manila.
Ceres-Negros will travel to Binan for consecutive matches before returning to Panaad for another home match versus JPV on the 28th.