Stephan Schröck scored the winner in injury time to give Ceres-Negros FC a 1-0 away win over Kaya FC-Makati in the first leg of the PFL Semis last December 3 at the University of Makati Stadium. The result gave Negros a vital away goal in the two-legged semifinal.
It was a tough match as advertised as both teams aimed to get an advantage at the get-go. Ceres had the first chance on goal when Iain Ramsay tried to curl a rebound towards the second post but the ball flashed wide.
Kaya also had an early chance off a dangerous free kick from the edge of the box but Jordan Mintah’s attempt was way over the bar in the 6th minute. Bienvenido Maranon sent a through ball to Kevin Ingreso minutes later but the midfielder’s shot only passed the face of goal.
The home squad was dangerous off a counter when a wide run by Mintah resulted to a cross towards Jovin Bedic but Kota Kawase was there for the clearance. The resulting corner saw Alfred Osei head wide.
Woody Ugarte was given a yellow after a challenge on Ingreso who who was in a dangerous position after dispossessing a Kaya player. Schrock beat two defenders in the wings before unleashing a shot that went over in the 20th minute.
Ceres-Negros had the best chance in the half when Ramsay tried a one-time volley from a delivery but Ref Cuaresma was did well with the reflex stop. Roland Muller had his own highlight in the 34th after Mendy found his way in front of goal with the Ceres keeper doing well to keep things level.
Miguel Tanton was given a yellow after a rash challenge but the Kaya engine man made amends with a long distance try in the last minute of regulation. Super Herrera made an injury time clearance before the referee whistled for the half time break.
The second half was also as tough as the first as both teams were playing a tight chess match in the middle of the park. Bedic was given a yellow after a rash challenge on Schrock.
Ceres had twin chances in the 50th minute from Carlie de Murga after the veteran beat the offside trap before side-heeling a shot towards goal. The ball bounced off the cross bar before De Murga tried to head in another. Cuaresma was however there to tip the ball over for safety.
Schrock found Maranon minutes later with a pinpoint cross but the Spaniards header was off target. Schrock took a chance from twenty-five yards but his shot curled wide. Mintah headed a Tanton corner in the 62nd but the ball cruised past the goal.
Tanton was again precise from set piece as he found Mendy on the box but the strikers header was just wide. Nazari would find his chance minutes later but his header was just over the crossbar.
Makati came closest in the 88th minute when Mendy breezed past two defenders before unleashing a wicked shot in front of goal. His shot however hits the underhand of the crossbar before bouncing back to the pitch.
Schrock tried to find Maranon in front of goal in injury time but his left footed cross didn’t have enough power and was collected by the keeper. He won’t be denied in the 93rd when he wiggled across the tough Kaya defense before curling in a left footed winner to the delight of the away fans.
The referee called for full time minutes later putting Ceres one-goal up in the two-legged semifinals. The next match is set on December 9 at the Panaad Stadium.
Photo from Greg Lopez/PFL