Newly promoted Ceres-La Salle FC toppled traditional powerhouse Global FC, 2-1, to hoist the United Football League’s FA League Cup on Thursday night at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Ceres made the feat shortly before earning promotion to Division One this season and clinched the season’s first silverware at the expense of reigning League champion Global.
The Bacolod City-based Ceres came out firing right at the opening whistle, with Kim Jin Ho at the first minute after converting a header for an early 1-nil lead.
Ceres suffered a huge blow after Azkals veteran Carlie De Murga was stretchered out of the pitch due to a possible knee injury. He never returned to the game.
Adrian Gallardo doubled Ceres’ cushion with a header at the 22nd minute as they held a comfortable 2-nil halftime lead.
Ceres looked on its way to cruise to the easy win as it continued to thwart any Global attack and threaten on the offensive end. But Global got a boost when Mark Hartmann fired a goal from outside the box off a Misagh Bahadoran feed to trim their deficit, 2-1.
Global then got a break a few minutes after as Ceres team captain Juani Guirado was sent off after being involved in a scuffle that saw Global goalkeeper Patrick Deyto hurt after a Ceres player accidentally hit him in the head. That reduced the newly promoted club to just 10 men, giving Global another shot at tying the match.
But Global, despite having plenty of chances at the goal, failed to convert its shots, including a last-second effort which was denied by the Ceres goalkeeper that sealed the result.
Ceres won its first major crown after being promoted just this season. Over the past year, the squad bolstered its roster with former and current national team players such as Patrick Reichelt, De Murga, Manny Ott, Jeffrey Christiaens, Juani Guirado, Jason Sabio, among others.
Kim won the Golden Ball trophy, the league’s equivalent to a Most Valuable Player plum. Deyto took home the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s best goalkeeper, while Louis Clark bagged the Golden Boot title as the competition’s top scorer.