Ceres-Negros FC settled for a 1-1 draw against Kaya FC-Iloilo last June 9 at the Iloilo City Sports Complex. Mike Ott and Shirmar Felongco were the goalscorers for the hotly contested match.
The home squad started the match defensively, holding their line against the vaunted Ceres attack. It took a while before the the action picked up when Takumi Uesato dispossessed a defender to cross towards the box. Stephan Schrock tried an acrobatic volley but it was blocked by Camelo Tacusalme.
The visitors forced the action in the Kaya half but disciplined defense left no room for Ceres to maneuver. Ott had the first legitimate shot on goal in the 28th minute from twenty yards but the attempt was collected by the keeper.
Kaya had a threatening counterattack minutes later but the streaking Felongco mistimed his pass from the wing allowing Ceres to take control.
A Kaya shot from outside the box hit a Ceres defender before its was cleared by Martin Steuble who was hacked after releasing the ball. Tensions escalated thereafter as Kaya was demanding for a handball while Ceres complained on the non-call.
Omid Nazari was given a yellow after he retaliated off a Felongco body check that went straight to his back. Things became heated after the sequence but cooler heads prevailed with both teams still scoreless at the break.
The home squad opened the second half with some chances but Bedic and Felongco couldn’t find their mark. Nazari had a good chance in the 53rd after the ball fell to his lap but his strike from inside the box went over the bar.
Schrock was fouled near the edge of the box in the 57th minute but the referee pointed outside for the free kick. The Ceres veteran struck the ball neatly but Cuaresma was there to tap it over.
Toni Doblas was forced off his line in the 67th as he rushed out to clear the ball in time to prevent the danger from Jovin Bedic. Mike Ott would have a header moments later but it wasn’t enough to bother the keeper.
The 70th chance saw Ceres hitting the woodwork after a lovely flick from Nazari set-up substitute Patrick Reichelt for a one-on-one. His attempt however bounced off the far post.
Things went bad for the visitors as Nazari was given his second yellow after a play was deemed to be dangerous in the 4th minute. Although the team was down to ten men, Ceres-Negros pushed for a winner and were rewarded in the 86th minute.
OJ Porteria poked the ball towards Reichelt who picked out a rushing Mike Ott in the opposite side. The winger made no mistake to give his team the lead in the 86th minute.
Kaya FC got a goal of their own after a chested back pass to Toni Doblas was reached by Felongco who swung the ball to the far end and swept it in for the equalizer.
The Iloilo squad had a good chance to go ahead but a Bedic shot was saved well by Doblas. The Kaya striker rebounded well but his succeeding attempt was cleared by Munoz.
Three minutes of injury time were added but it wasn’t enough for both teams as the would share the spoils after the final whistle. Ceres improved to 29 points, maintaining their six point lead over Kaya after 12 matches.