Ceres-Negros FC hosts Stallion Laguna for the first time this season at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City on June 27.
The teams have played twice this season with Ceres-Negros bagging victories in Biñan.
The first match last 26 saw Stallion race to a two-goal lead care of Jan Melliza in the first half. Stephan Schrock scored a goal while Bienvenido Maranon scored a brace to lead the comeback versus the Laguna side.
Ceres-Negros overpowered Stallion in the second match with a 6-2 win after taking advantage of a degraded backline.
Joshua Dutosme, who was a key player in the last match, doesn’t want to dwell on the last win over Stallion that saw him issue key passes for the first two goals.
“We need to focus for tomorrow’s game and then do our job and work hard to help the team to bounce back from the last game and get the three points,” said Dutosme.
Laguna will be keen to redeem themselves in two consecutive matches in Panaad. They split their last two assignments when they lost to Davao 5-0 and beat Global 4-0.
Negros also earned a win and a loss in their consecutive matches versus JPV Marikina. The home squad earned a 4-1 win while the visitors earned a 2-0 win against 10-men in the last match.
Ceres is the defending champions. If you want to progress in football, you have to beat Ceres. Currentl,” said Stallion Coach Ernie Nierras.
“Just like any other team, we are here to try to win our match. There is no team in the PFL right now that is unbeatable,” he added.
“Like the Coach said, Ceres is a very strong team. We need to work hard so we can beat them. We know they’re tough but we’ll try our best to win the game,” said Stallion Captain Balot Doctora.
Ceres-Negros Coach Risto Vidakovic is will try to rotate his already thin lineup with some players returning this week.
“Carlie (De Murga) is back. OJ (Porteria) is available again after the red card and I think we have options to play tomorrow. Because we need to change to also refresh the other players. I think they have a chance to play tomorrow,” said Vidakovic.
The Ceres mentor and the players are already aware of the changes they need to make after the loss to JPV and are looking forward to the better spacing between games.
“I think this time we have more rest between the games as last time because we now have four days. The last time we had only three days. I think the players are much more prepared for the game and hopefully won’t the same mistakes,” he added.
Stallion will have the luxury of a complete lineup while Ceres will miss goalkeeper Michael Casas because of suspension.
Both teams will play consecutive matches in the Panaad Stadium on June 27 (Wednesday) and July 1 (Sunday) before meeting again in mid July.
Kickoff is set at 7pm in the historic stadium with free admission given to the fans. The match will also be live on PFLtv.ph.