Ceres-Negros FC returned victorious in the Philippines Football League with a 3-1 win over Davao Aguilas FC last September 16 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Goals from Fernando Rodriguez, Bienvenido Marañon, and man of the match Jeffrey Christaens scored the difference in the match.
The visitors controlled posession in the early going with the home squad playing with caution and mostly behind the ball. Rodriguez opened the account for the busmen after tapping in a cross from Christaens after a well worked play from Manny Ott and Bienvenido Marañon in the 19th minute.The Aguilas almost equalized minutes in the 25th when Phil Younghusband’s curling shot off a counterattack hit the crossbar before it bounce out of play. Moments later, the Negros squad had a great chance to score another when OJ Porteria teed up Stephan Schröck in front of goal. Marko Trkulja however blocked the attempt to keep the deficit to one goal.
A defensive error by Ceres allowed Phil Younghusband to chase a free ball and set-up a one-on-one with keeper Roland Müller. The former Philippine International however came up with a massive save to maintain the clean sheet.
The 36th minute saw another wasted chance for the Busmen after Rodriguez missed a sitter in front of goal. Schröck recovered the ball from the wing before crossing to Rodriguez who skied a chance in front of goal.
Ceres had chances near the end of the half after Marañon and Ott’s attempts were covered while Omid Nazari’s free kick curled wide. The home squad also had some chances of their own in injury time but Müller was there to prevent any danger before the half time break.
The busmen scored their second, five minutes into the second half, after Porteria did good work on the Davao backline before releasing to Marañon. The Spanish striker cleanly struck the ball to the back of the net to double Ceres’ advantage.
Rodriguez had another golden oppurtunity in the 56th minute after Marañon released a through ball to his compatriot. His left footed shot however went over the crossbar. Marañon had his own chance minutes later from twenty yards but his top corner attempt was tapped away by Trkulja to safety.
The Mindanao squad earned twin chances in the 79th but both were covered well by the Visayan defense. Substitute Omar Khan had a free header moments later but it was over the bar. Rodriguez would get his own header in the 84th but it goes over.
Ceres-Negros’ patience on the attack paid dividends when Christaens intercepted the ball from his own box to give a through ball to Rodriguez in the opposite half. The Spanish forward timed his ball back to the left back who made no mistake to put Ceres up 3-0 three minutes from time. Davao would score a consolation in injury time when Harrison Sawyer snuck a ball in off a quick corner.
The win pushed the Bacolod squad back to fourth place with 28 points after 13 games. The team is is now looking forward to make up for missed games due to the AFC Cup. Ceres-Negros will again face the Davao Aguilas on Wednesday (September 20) in Tagum City.