PROVING its title run last year was no fluke, Ceres-La Salle beat Global FC, 1-0, in the second leg of the Philippine Football Federation-Smart National Club Championship Finals on Saturday at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
The champions from Bacolod put up another valiant stand against the United Football League powerhouse for a 3-1 aggregate score.
Only needing a scoreless draw to the defend the title, the Negros Occidental representatives still left the outcome without a doubt, getting a late goal from substitute J. Baguioro to score a sweep of the two-legged series.
It was another heartbreaking finish for Global, the Leyte FA representative which suffered an early exit in the UFL Cup last month and wound up as bridesmaid in the UFL League earlier this year that forced the squad to relinquish the title.
However, Global, despite losing, 1-2, in the first leg last Thursday, only needed a 1-0 win to dethrone Ceres on away goals.
And the Dan Palami-owned squad took the fight to the defending champions early, conjuring numerous chances courtesy of national team standouts Angel Guirado, Mark Hartmann, Jeff Christiaens, and Sudanese striker Izzo El-Habib.
Instead, it was little-known Baguioro who came up with biggest play down stretch for the wards of Ali Go as he unlocked the Global defense seven minutes before second-half stoppage time.
Ceres even had a chance to score an early goal with a penalty kick that just hit the crossbar in the 31 minutes into the game.