Ceres-Negros extends winning run at home turf
Ceres-Negros kept its fine form at home as it blanked the Davao Aguilas, 2-0, Saturday night in the Philippines Football League at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Goals from midfielders OJ Porteria and Stephan Schrock kept the Busmen unbeaten at home, while denying the Aguilas a first victory of the season.
The Busmen needed to overcome the Aguilas’ defensive approach as they patiently and systematically broke down the visiting side with slick passing and quick movement.
“It was the hardest game that we had here at home,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic. “They defended really good [and are] well organized, but my players were persistent for 90 minutes and they had patience.
It’s not easy to play when one team is defending with 10 players in front of the goal, especially when they know how to defend and they defend very good.”
The Aguilas paraded new signings Matthew Hartmann, who was acquired from Global Cebu, and Harry Sawyer, a tall Australian striker, but they hardly offered anything going forward as the visiting team was content to soak up the pressure.
Schrock nearly opened the scoring in the 19th minute when his effort rattled the bar.
Porteria, who recovered just in time from food poisoning, made no mistake eight minutes later as he fired an unstoppable shot from outside the area to beat Marko Trkulja.
Schrock, who was denied by the post late in the second half, finally broke through in the 57th minute after finding space just inside the box.
The victory augurs well for the Busmen who now shift their focus on the AFC Cup zonal finals against Singaporean side Home United starting on Aug. 2 at Jalan Besar Stadium. The return leg at Panaad is set Aug. 9.
“We were a little bit scared here and there because we have a very important match in the AFC Cup,” said Schrock. “We lacked concentration but like coach said we took it very professional, very disciplined, and were patient enough so a 2-0 result is a good result for us.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.