TAGUM CITY, DAVAO DEL NORTE - Still fresh from their run in the AFC Cup, Ceres Negros FC plunged back into action right away against Davao Aguilas FC for the PFL, first at the match at Rizal Memorial Stadium (RMS) last weekend, then next at Davao Aguilas’ home pitch in Tagum City last September 20.
But in a span of four days, Davao Aguilas seems to have changed their moves inside and outside the pitch. Davao Aguilas changed its head coach, from its previous Australian coach to its current head coach Marlon Maro.
Maro was previously head coach of U22 Philippine men’s football team, and led the Philippine contingent to the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last month.
Along with that drastic change, came a change in their tactics and strategy as well. Ceres Negros FC on the other hand, marched into Davao most likely thinking it was still the same team they dealt with only days back, and that they had the upper hand, being on the upper end of the PFL table.
In the pre-match press conference in Tagum City where Coach Maro was presented, he said, “There will be a lot of changes but there is only one option, which is winning, the team is also in high spirits, we are very positive and looking forward to our first win.”
In their match on Thursday, September 21, the Dabawenyos became unpredictable, and in fact snatched the first goal in the 27th minute, with the help of James Younghusband. The first half ended with a score of 1-0, in favor of the spirited and reinvigorated Aguilas.
The close to 4,000 spectators were surprisingly quiet, perhaps surprised that the home team was able to control the game against Ceres Negros FC in the first half.
A second goal by the Aguilas, however, was unfortunately deemed by the referee as an offside.
Ceres Negros FC on the other hand, recovered and equalized the game with a goal on the 73rd minute, courtesy of Fernando Rodriguez.
Coach Marlon Maro at the post-match press conference said, “We indeed won, however, the referee nullified our second goal, it’s his opinion, we respect it. To our fans, we are still on the right track for the remaining matches.”
Davao Aguilas FC faces FC Meralco Manila on1 Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. (PR)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 22, 2017.
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