Ceres-La Salle extend their winning streak to five by beating Green Archers United 3-0 in the UFL Football Alliance League Cup.
Jinho Kim opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a header past Green Archers keeper Paolo Pascual. It was the first goal after a series of shots and half-chances did not materialize to the pressing Ceres team.
United almost made Ceres pay with an equalizer when Jovanie Simpron caught a weak backpass but his second touch cost him a shot on goal after trying to avoid an onrushing Michael Casas.
Green Archers Globe started to get comfortable by producing a series of counter attacks by Robert Lopez-Mendy, Jess Melliza, and Chieffy Caligdong but their finishing deprived them of an equalizer. Chieffy Caligdong was stretchered off in the 38th after incurring a painful back injury.
Ceres’ Adrian Gallardo scored the second goal in the 40th minute with a left footed strike. The Spanish National added his second goal 4 minutes after by connecting to a beautiful 40 yard pass from Jinho off a counter attack. The half ended with Ceres leading by 3-0.
The second half had a controversial start when Ceres center back Sang Min Kim tackled Lopez Mendy inside the penalty box without any contact with the ball. No call was made by the referees to the disappointment of the Archers.
Things got physical after as a series of fouls and yellow cards were awarded to both teams. Both squads had their fair share of chances but none were converted as the match ended with the same halftime score. Ceres will face Army on Thursday to complete their Group matches.
“Actually we wanted to finish the game in the first half which i think the boys did. 3-0 is okay already and we don’t want to risk anything. Were coming in to the quarterfinals, (to) much important games. This one was no bearing for us but still we wanted to see the play of the first half. We saw it already, we had a lot of chances, we made 3. We could have made more but in second half we need to give chances for the other players to play” said Team Manager Ali Go.
Both teams have only met once last year in the 2013 UFL Cup tourney where Green Archers eliminated Ceres care of a Chieffy Caligdong last minute strike in the quarterfinals.
The match which is informally called the “La Salle Derby” got a little more interesting with Ceres FC’s Arnie “Dodz” Pasinabo Jr. starting against his former team. The former national team player admitted in being uncomfortable playing against the Archers but he held his own with a decent showing in the match.
Jeff Christiaens made his debut in a Ceres jersey after making a switch from Global. The match also saw the debut of center back Lemuel “Dapal” Unabia in the FA League Cup.
The quarterfinal pairing draw will be held after last game on October 23 and the quarterfinal matches will be played on October 26-27. The other teams who have qualified for the quarterfinals are: Loyola Meralco, Stallion, Pachanga-Diliman, Global, Kaya, Laos FC, and Manila All Japan.