Ceres continued its spectacular run of form after beating Loyola Meralco Spark 5-2 last Saturday night in their seventh UFL League match. Adrian Gallardo Valdes scored a hat-trick to lead all scorers in the game with Patrick Reichelt and Martin Steuble adding one goal each. Phil Younghusband and Adam Mitter both scored the goals for Loyola.
Photo c/o Ceres-La Salle FC FB Page
Ceres started out strong in the first ten minutes forcing corners but Loyola had the first shot when Anthony Putrus-Schnell tried to curl in a shot which hit the side netting. In the 13th minute James Younghusband had a header from corner but Ceres keeper Louis Michael Casas safely tipped it over the bar. Loyola was without their first choice keeper in Tomas Trigo who is injured and had young keeper Enrique Montserrat to start in his place.
The Bacolod squad had it first clear chance when a cross from Orman Okunaiya was glanced by Kyum Son Cho towards Gallardo but his follow up header went over the bar. The Younghusband brothers showed great chemistry highlighted by great passing but the finishing touch was not there.
The tie was broken in the 20th when Manny Ott delivered a cross which again grazed Cho’s head with the ball ending up with Gallardo who buried the shot into the bottom corner. Six minutes after Ott provided a short corner to an open Martin Steuble but his left footed screamer when wide.
A minute after, Patrick Riechelt ran for forty yards from the right flank which led to a one-on-one with the keeper but the narrow angle made it difficult for him to finish. The La Salle affiliated squad had better control and possession which limited the chances of Loyola. Phil Younghusband had a chance in the half-hour mark but he skied the resulting free kick.
The game became very physical as yellow cards were given in the latter part of the second half. Three minutes before halftime, Ceres made it 2-0 when Martin Steuble found Patrick Reichelt who had enough space to finish his first goal.
The Negros-based squad were again the aggressors at the start of the second half as they pressed Loyola even if they were two goals up. Manny Ott tried to test the keeper with a long strike but his shot was way over the bar in the 49th. The Vallacar Transit-backed squad showed great passing and technique and in the first fifteen minutes to frustrate Loyola.
Loyola had another chance in front of goal in the 61st but Adam Mitter’s chance went wide after connecting from a corner. Seven minutes later Martin Steuble made it 3-0 for Ceres with a strike from twenty five yards out. Ott played his free kick short to Steuble who again had plenty of space in the middle of the park to curl in a left footed screamer to the top corner.
Loyola hit back a minute fter when Phil Younghusband shot from the top of the box towards the top corner to make the score 3-1. The Ceres defense were in protest of the goal as their was an apparent ‘non-call’ on Loyola just before the fourth goal.
The Sparks made it interesting in the 73rd when subsitute Joo Young Lee provide a cross and Adam Mitter made no mistake the second time around to head in his teams’ second. They had another dangerous chance 4 minutes after when Phil Younghusband took a free kick from outside to box only for it to be punched out by Casas in the last minute.
Ceres sealed the deal in the 80th minute when Reicheldt broke away in the right flank and beautifully curls in a cross towards a waiting Adrian Gallardo who calmly picks his spot to head in his second goal. Minutes later, Sparks Coach Simon McMenemy was sent off following his assistant who was also sent off in the first half.
Things got testy again just before the 90th with a skirmish between Eddie Mallari and Mari Angeles. Lots of pushing and shoving occurred in the sequence but no yellow card was given by the referee Wilfredo Bermejo.
In injury time, Phil Younghusband had another crack from a free kick on top of the box but his shot was cleared by Juani Guirado. Adrian Gallardo completed his hat trick three minutes into injury time after heading in a cross from Nate Burkey. Burkey got past his defender in the left flank and salvaged a cross from the goal line which went directly to Gallardo whose goal restored their initial three goal advantage.
Ceres maintained it unbeaten run in the tournament with its two remaining fixtures in the first half of the league against Global and Team Socceroo. Loyola meanwhile incurred their second loss and is in solo third at the moment. Gallardo is still the top scorer of the league with ten goals followed by Mark Hartmann with seven
The first two matches in the day were blow outs as Team Socceroo walloped Army 4-0 while Global destroyed Manila Jeepney with a 10-1 scoreline.