Ceres-La Salle FC escaped with a 3-1 win against a fighting Stallion FC to book their place in the semi-finals of the 2014 UFL Football Alliance League Cup.
It was a tight first half as the Bacolod-based squad controlled possession but had difficulty on converting their chances early in the game. Patrick Reichelt and Adrian Gallardo had decent shots on goal but none were converted. Stallion relied on quick counter attacks to threaten Ceres but their finishing was also not there.
Ceres finally opened the scoring in the 34th with a beautiful team goal. Orman Okunaiya provided a cross which was then flicked by Jin Ho Kim to an open Gallardo. The Spanish national headed the balll beyond the reach of the Stallion’s Wilson Munoz.
The Vallacar Transit-backed squad doubled the advantage four minutes later with a cheeky goal from Carli de Murga. The Filipino-Spanish player found some space inside the box and cleverly chipped the ball over the Stallion keeper with the ball hitting the inside post before going in completely.
The second half saw the resurgence of Stallion as the Iloilo-affiliated squad pulled back a goal in the 52nd with a screaming header from Blanchard Belinga. Belinga connected to a well-taken corner and headed towards the top right corner beyond the reach of Ceres’ Michael Casas.
Minutes later, Stallion almost equalized on two separate occasions with a Nana Thomert header and a sneaky free kick from Angel Carrascosa. Thomert hit the crossbar with his header and Carrascosa hit a low curling shot that was inches wide of the post. Ceres also had a few chances after that but the Stallion held to foil the Ceres attempts.
Ceres substitute Kyum Son Cho put the result beyond doubt after scoring a goal against Stallion in the 87th. The Ceres veteran broke away from the Stallion defense and found keeper Wilson Munoz way off his line. He then produced a superb chip with the ball hitting the back of the net to the delight of the Ceres fans.
“We’re very excited, were waiting for this. We’ve been training so hard to win a championship. We will not stop till we become champions.” said Ceres team manager Ali Go. ” But there are also good teams also coming so we’ll see. We’ll give our 100, 200 percent and were gonna train harder so that we’ll get the results that we want”, he added
Global FC beat Laos FC 3-0 to book the other semi final slot. The semi-finals are scheduled on Tuesday, November 4 with the semi-final pairing to be drawn right after the last quarterfinal game between Loyola FC and Kaya FC.