Ceres-La Salle booked a seat in semifinals of the PFF-Smart Club Championships with a 1-0 win over Laos FC in the final game of Group A.
Patrick Reichelt scored the decider in the 55th minute when there was confusion in the box as the ball was perceived to be out of bounds before the goal. The Azkals striker took advantage and headed in the deciding goal.
The first chance of the game happened in the 9th minute when Manny Ott took a 25-yard free kick only to be tapped out by Laos GK Saba Garmaroudi near the bottom corner.
Ceres had a hard time on getting through Laos as majority of the latter’s players were in a defensive position. The Bacolod representatives had eighty percent of the possession with Laos just waiting for the counter attack.
Laos Had its best chance when Patrick Franksson comnected on a cross but saw his header over the bar. Ceres centerback Sang Min Kim had a similar chance but it too sailed over.
It was an uninteresting first half as Laos was clearly contented on parking the bus and snatching a point in their final game.
The second half was much different as Nate Burkey took a well hit shot to the bottom corner only for it to be tapped by Saba in full stretch. A ceres player managed to recover the ball which was on its way out of the goal line and crossed it to an open Patrick Reichelt.
The rest if the second half saw half chances from Ceres with Reichelt, Marasigan, Gallardo, and Okunaiya but none of them wen through.
The Cha Soong Young-mentored squad only needed a win to go to the semis after Loyola and Kaya finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first game. Loyola finished the group with 7 points, Ceres with 6, Kaya 4, and none for Laos FC.
The Semifinals will start on Thursday, January 29 with Loyola playing the second seed of Group B at 4PM while Ceres will play the winner of Group B at 7PM. Global are favorites to progress to the top spot as they are currently ahead of Stallion in goal difference. Group B teams will finish their matches by Tuesday, January 27, 2015.