Ceres stuns Global, 2-1

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Friday, December 20, 2013

DEFENDING champion Ceres-La Salle FC started slow, allowing Global FC lots of early attempts and misses in the first half, but thanks to the excellent defense of keeper Louie Michael Casas, the first leg of the PFF-Smart Club Championships ended 2-1 in favor of the home team Thursday at the Panaad Park and Stadium.

With the superb Spanish duo up front in Angel Guirado and Rufo Sanchez, Ceres played defensively. With an estimated 3 to 1 advantage of Global in dangerous attempts, the hosts patiently waited until Jayson Panhay beat his defender and goalie Dely Roland Sadia in the 45th minute.

With the momentum swinging in Ceres' favor, the locals put more pressure but Guirado got lucky inside the box beating Lemuel Unabia and Casas for the equalizer in the 54th minute. It was a mental lapse as Global pushed the ball casually from the corner surprising the rest, giving Guirado an easy flick.

The equalizer gave Ceres enough reason to push and in the 62nd minute Joshua Beloya beat the lone defense at the right flank and eluded Sadia for an easy roller.

It was more of a catch-up game for the Leyte FC with lots of sideline complaints to officials from head coach Dan Stephen Palami, as bodies banged and fall in the rain-soaked grass. While Global got a douse of their hard tackles and power plays, Panhay and J. Baguioro went back to their bench on a stretcher.

Ceres head coach Bernard Ali Go said they still have 90 minutes to work with and need to score in the second leg on Saturday. "At least, we have the advantage, but still they (Global) have a goal. I think it's a motivation for us to work harder."

Go added that he was very disappointed in the first half as the plan was to move the ball around. What they did was to send long balls which were never our game plan,” he explained. “However, we made adjustments in the second half, and we won.”

Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, a member of the FIFA TV and Marketing Committee, said that Saturday's match is the crucial game for Bacolod and the club representing Negros Occidental Football Association.

“I appeal to all Bacolod and Negros football lovers to come on Saturday and support Ceres-La Salle. This is to show the country the quality of football we have here is doing well,” said Puentevella, who was among the supportive crowd at the main bleacher.

The second leg of the finals will kick off 2:30 p.m. of December 21 at the Panaad pitch.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 20, 2013.


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