Defending champions Ceres-La Salle FC suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against Green Archers United last Aug 7 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. San Carlos native Tating Pasilan scored the winner for the Archers in the second half to complete the upset.
The Bacolod squad had the best chance early on with Adrian Gallardo whose shot went straight to Archers keeper Henry Bandeken Fong. Moments later, Ceres was awarded the penalty when Manny Ott was tripped inside the penalty box. Gallardo didn’t waste his chance and sent the keeper the wrong way to put his club ahead after 13 minutes. Martin Steuble struck from a distance four minutes later with his shot bouncing off Bandeken Fong but the succeeding attempt was covered by the United defense.
The Archers would have their chances in the later on coming from team captain Chieffy Caligdong. The former Azkal had a free kick cleared in the 20th minute and he followed it up with a header that went way over in the 26th. Stephan Schrock had a good chance five minutes later after finding his way into the box but his left footed shot was blocked by the keeper. A great passing combination from Schrock and Gallardo resulted to a cross which was cleared by the defense. Jeffrey Christaens recovered the clearance and unleashed a strike but Bandeken Fong tapped the ball out for safety.
United equalized when a long through ball reached a rushing Hossein Doustdarsefedmazgi who controlled the ball well into space and placed it to the back of the net for the equalizer in the 35th minute. Just before halftime, Ceres keeper Louie Michael Casas chased the ball from way out from an oncoming Caligdong and even tried to outrun his former Azkals teammate before clearing it out for safety. The half ended with both teams getting a goal apiece.
Ceres didn’t waste time from the restart after Schrock received a through ball and tried to beat the keeper in the far post. The ball however hit the woodwork keeping the score level in just after a minute of action. The Busmen had another chance in the 54th when Jalsor Soriano’s cross was met by Christaens whose ball bounced off from the post. The Archers pushed for a counterattack after every incursion by Ceres but the Ceres defense was their to cover.
Soriano had a good chance in the hour mark when he faked his defender in the box and tried to bend the shot into the far post. Bandeken Fong was again there to tap away the attempt. The green and white squad had a golden chance in the 67th when a corner found its way to substitute Tating Pasilan whose point blank shot forced a good save from Casas. He won’t be denied minutes later when the Archers forced another counterattack with Reynald Villarel providing a great ball into space. Pasilan darted through the left wing full-throttle setting up a one-on-one and and putting one past Casas for the lead.
The Archers would put on a tougher defense in the dying minutes limiting Ceres’ space in their own box. Shots and crosses from a distance had limited effect as the Archers defense and keeper was spot on. The match dubbed as the “La Salle derby” ended with a 2-1 score in favor of the Archers. Green Archers United last won against Ceres in the 2013 UFL Cup Quartefinals which incidentally has a similar scoreline.
“The result was not what we expected. We lose and we have to analyze what we done good, what we done bad, and move forward,” said Ceres Coach Risto Vidakovic. “They (Archers) played very good together. Defensively very good. We have some mistakes and then in the counterattack they scored their opportunities. We just failed many opportunities and that’s why we lose,” the newly-installed mentor added.
The loss dampened Ceres’ title aspirations with Global having a three-point advantage plus a game at hand. The Busmen will next face JP Voltes on August 14 also at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.