Ceres-Negros FC leaned on early and late goals to outlast a hard-working JPV Marikina side last April 28 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Bienvenido Marañon and Jeffrey Christians scored a goal apiece while Patrick Reichelt secured a brace in the match.
The visitors pounced early when OJ Porteria found Maranon on the far post to score the opener. Stephan Schrock had a good chance moments later but his snapshot didnt bother Nelson Gasic.
Marikina had their own attempt in the 13th minute but Keigo Muriyasu’s free kick was wasted by Tsubasa Suzuki’ wide header. Willam Gueridon had his owen attempt on a breakaway but Toni Doblas was equal to the final shot.
The home squad would be punished a minute later when Christaens won the ball back after a challenge by the defender to find space and curl in the second goal using his weaker foot to make it 2-0.
Mike Ott almost scored the third but his strike in teh 28th minute hit the underside of the crossbar before bouncing out the opposite way to the dismay off the busmen.
Ceres would gain control of the match but a twist of fate in the 38th minute saw JP Voltes getting a goal of their own. Suzuki capitalized on poor defending to head in a home goal.
The Busmen had another attempt in front of goal before the half ended but Sean Kane’s recovery of a missed header went over the bar. The halftime break saw Ceres with a slight 2-1 lead.
The Negros squad had the best chance early in the second half when Reichelt pushed the ball past the rushing keeper but the defense caught up in his final heave to the open goal.
Allen Angeles made a good effort to bypass the Ceres backline but his outside the foot shot from the flanks curled past the second post. A cross from Christaens on the other end was deflected towards goal post but nobody was there to tap in the free ball.
JPV were again dangerous in the 63rd minute when John Celiz broke away from the defense but Christaens outhusled the attacker to win a Ceres goal kick. The defending champs tried to test the home squad but the defense was on point to squander the half chances.
The Bacolod squad’s patience eventually bore fruit in the match when substitute Arnie Pasinabo found space on the wings before releasing to a rushing Reichelt in the middle. The designated striker make no mistake to restore the two-goal cushion for the yellow and black in the 78th.
A great ball from Schrock plus perfect timing from Reichelt saw the latter completing his brace and completing the hard-earned win for the busmen.
“I think for both teams, 4PM is a hard game, especially we just had a game a few days ago in the AFC Cup,” said Man of the match Patrick Reichelt. “Maybe we had ten minutes that we didn’t play well but overall we did a good job. JP Voltes is always a very hard team as they are always very motivated,” he added.
The Ceres attacker two goals in the end was enough to seal the win but Reichelt was quick to deflect credit as he and his teammates are just focused on the goal of getting a good result in every match.
“Goals are always good but for us right now, with both the AFC Cup and the league, it doesn’t matter who scores rather we just want to be injury free and have a good recovery,” Reichelt added.
Ceres-Negros will face the Davao Aguilas on May 2 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium before going back home to continue their quest in the ASEAN Zone semifinal of the AFC Cup on May 9.
Photos from the Philippines Football League