Newly crowned UFL League champions Ceres-La Salle FC completed their campaign with a win against Stallion FC and a loss against Manila Jeepney in their last two play dates at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Ceres vs Stallion
Goals from “Kiki” Reichelt and “Juani” Guirado plus an inspired performance from Ed Sacapaño made the difference for Ceres with Stallion getting a late consolation from Jordan Mintah for the 2-1 result.
It was Ceres who came out strong with Reichelt hitting the post in the 10th minute. Ceres strike Jeong Woo Lee broke away a minute after only to be stifled by Stallion keeper Johann Noetzle.
Stallion made their presence felt in the 14 when Sacapano tapped out a free kick from Simone Rota from top of the box. Reichelt would again hit the post five minutes later after connecting from a corner with Noetzle collecting the rebound.
It was a Stallion show from then on after successive attempts from the Gilligans squad. Mintah headed wide a Matthew Nierras cross in the 22nd which was followed by a Sang Min Kim block on a Balot Doctora shot in thr danger area.
The 27th saw a great passing sequence for Stallion as Mintah and Nathan Alquiros combined to deliver an open pass to Mbata who had his shot blocked with a super save from Sacapaño. The former Azkals keeper made a beauty of a save from a shot of a wide open Rota a minute later.
The opening goal came in the 34th after Reichelt connected on a Jeffrey Christaens cross. Christaens placed a power cross towards Reichelt who immediately redirected it to the bottom left past the Stallion keeper.
Stallion almost had an equalizer when Mintah faked his way twice to an open shot which forced a great reaction block from Sacapaño. The ball was rebounded by Doctora who took to long to react which lead to a Ceres clearance.
A heated exchange happened between Doctora and Yong Chan Son which was highlighted by a yellow card to the former Azkal striker after a cruching tackle on Son minutes after. The half ended with Ceres leading 1-0.
The second half saw a penalty awarded to Stallion by referee Ariel Montaña after Mintah fell in the box in an apparent foul from Sacapaño. EdSa was furious as he claimed that he did not make contach with the Stallion striker. Simone Rota stepped up to take the penalty but EdSa saved it to keep his team in the lead in the 53rd.
In the 63rd, Martin Steuble provided a cross towards the box which was slightly redirected by a back header by Guirado. The redirection glued the stallion keeper on his feet as the ball skipped past to the far post and in to give Ceres the 2-0 advantage.
Minutes later, spanish winger Bienvenido Marañon tested Noetzle from fourty yards as the keeper tapped the ball over the bar. It was in injury time when Stallion scored, as a clearance from a Sacapaño save found its way to Mintah who blasted the goal with the keeper beaten. The match ended 2-1 in favor of Ceres
Ceres vs Manila Jeepney
Both teams started the game with gusto as they tried to outdo each other in the opening minutes. Bienve Maranon had the first crack on goal in the 15th minute after a series of half chances from the opposing teams. Jeepney goalkeeper Ray Joyel was on point, saving the spaniards try from 20 yards.
Ceres’ Jayson Panhay opened the scoring in the 25th minute after collecting a cross from fellow veterean Kyum Son Cho and finishing past the keeper. It was all tied five minutes after when Ceres centerback Sang Min Kim accidentally headed in a free kick from Reymart Cubon. The rest of the half saw plenty of chances going wide for both teams with Joyel standing out in keeping the Ceres attempts at bay.
The Bacolod squad went for the offensive from the get go but a series of attempts were all foiled with the inspired play of Joyel. In the 55th, a string of passes in the Jeepney led to a goal after Nicolas Ferrer puts his side up. A combination from Gary Epessos and Koffi Koassi found Ferrer free to slot home the eventual winning goal.
Things got interesting in the remaining minutes with the current champions chasing for an equalizer and their follow division 1 promotees chasing for a final nail on the coffin. Ceres came out to score but Joyel’s inspired play kept them aback. Jeepney were down to ten men after substitute Val Jurao’s straight red after an altercation with Martin Steuble who was also shown a yellow. The match ended with Jeepney taking a 2-1 win against Ceres.