Ceres-La Salle FC overcame a two goal deficit to salvage a 3-3 draw against league leaders Global FC last July 17 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Busmen had a chance in the first minute when Adrian Gallardo bursted into the box giving a backheel pass to Patrick Reichelt whose shot was covered by the defense. It was Global who opened the scoring in the match when Bahadoran laid off to Ivan Petrovic who blasted the ball to the roof of the net in the 13th minute.
Both teams were pushing hard in the first twenty which resilted to Bienvenido Marañon heading a ball over the crossbar and Misagh Bahadoran forcing a one on one with Casas that was foiled by the Ceres defense. Bahadoran was again dangerous in the 19th minute with his 30-yard free kick went slightly over the bar. Global had the better chances while Ceres was struggling to find form in the early going.
Global would make it 2-0 after 35 minutes when Bahadoran found some space at the top of the box ad rifled in a shot past a full-stretched Louie Michael Casas. The Dan Palami-backed squad almost made it 3-0 when Amani Aguinaldo’s cheeky back heel in front of goal was blocked by the defense and the ensuing rebound by Serge Kaole went way over the bar.
The Bacolod squad pushed for goals resulting to plenty of chances in the remaining minutes. Martin Steuble floated a ball in the box which was punched out by Patrick Deyto with Manny Ott slicing a volley attempt from afar. In the 30th minute, Global defender Jerry Barbaso was called for handball in the edge of the box but the free kick from Ott was off target. Ott again had a chance minutes later when he shot low from 20 yards but Deyto was there to collect.
Controversy erupted in the 40th minute when Marañon was brought down by Deyto in the box in a one-on-one but referee Krizmark Nañola waved it off for a corner. Marañon was furious of the non-call and was given a yellow card for dissent. The resulting corner saw Adrian Gallardo glancing-in a header which hit the crossbar. It didn’t take long until Ceres’ persistence was rewarded. Gallardo chased a long ball behind the Global defense and slotting in a right footed shot past Deyto who never conceded since the start of the league.
Reichelt had a chance to equalize in injury time, running past defenders and releasing a shot just before he was leveled by Deyto. The ball went a foot wide from the post and no penalty was given for the reckless challenge. Ceres would have a final chance just before halftime when Reichelt issued a cross in but Marañon skied his shot in front of goal. The half would end with Global leading 2-1.
The Negros Occidental squad started the half with urgency which led to multiple chances. Just after the restart, Reichelt issued a low cross to Ott whose shot was over the bar. Orman Okunaiya snuck a through ball to Reichelt, who beat his defender and brandished a shot from close range. Deyto was again there for the save. A good passing combination in the 52nd minute was created by Ceres but the final header of Gallardo was just wide.
Global unleashed a counter-attack in the hour mark with substitute Omid Nazari breaking through the flanks and issuing a cross to Minegishi on the other side. Jason Sabio would get a piece of the ball which went towards Casas who tapped it away. Minegishi was quick to react, collecting the free ball and scoring Global’s third for the 3-1 lead.
Nazari almost made it four for Global when his free kick from twenty-five yards hit the crossbar in the 71st minute. Ceres got their groove back minutes later when Gallardo took a shot from the edge of the box which went past Deyto and trimming the lead. Marañon made a brilliant effort after the restart when he shook off his defender and released a quick shot to score the equalizer in the 78th.
The Busmen had a golden chance minutes later when substitute Stephan Shröck issued a lovely pass which beat the defenders and allowed Marañon a 1v1 chance against Deyto. The Spanish player’s shot was however saved by Deyto who was going in one direction but recovered to collar the ball in the reverse side. Global would have another chance in extra but their free kick again hit the crossbar which kept the score level till the end.
“We knew their game plan is always counter attack. I think all-in-all, if we watch the video of the game, we played more good football. But the danger is always their fast players. They have quick counter attacks, everybody runs for their counterattacks. We knew about that that’s why we were disappointed especially the two goals were counterattack goals. Maybe well face each other again at the end of the league. If the both of us win all our games it will be the decider,” said Ceres Club Director Ali Go.
“Global is always a hard game. They give everything versus Ceres. You’ll probably see them at their best games with us. At the same time always with global, we make silly mistakes that is converted to goals. I think that’s the bottomline of the story. Kudos to the boys 3-1 down (but) never gave up. They played good and we’ll rest for this two weeks and prepare for this second round,” The Ceres Director added.
Global is still on top with 31 points followed by Ceres with 28 points. The UFL second round will start on August and will be completed by October.