Ceres nears title, wants to end season undefeated
LIPA—There’s just no stopping Ceres-Negros’ march to a third straight Philippines Football League crown.
The Busmen once again displayed their steely resolve in turning back Green Archers, 2-1, on Wednesday night and to move within a victory of claiming the league title at Aboitiz pitch here.
Goals from Senegalese striker Robert Lopez Mendy and national team player OJ Porteria handed the Busmen maximum points in a game where the Archers proved they can hold their own against the league’s top attacking side for long periods.
But it doesn’t look like the title will be enough for the dominant club.
Ceres remained on track to finish the season undefeated—a goal that is foremost on the minds of coach Risto Vidakovic’s charges.
“We know that we’re three points away from winning the championship, but that’s not really our mentality right now,” said Porteria. “Our goal is to play each game, win and stay undefeated up to the end of the season.”
With second-running Kaya Iloilo held to a goalless draw by Mendiola in the earlier match, the Busmen now only need three points from their last four matches to secure a third straight title.
Even with a heavy downpour delaying kickoff, the Busmen settled into the match quickly with Mendy firing from close range off a teasing ball from Porteria inside the first two minutes.
“Green Archers made it difficult for us,” Porteria acknowledged.
John Celiz’s equalizer in the 71st minute was a fitting reward for the Archers’ passion and endeavor, but Porteria quickly gave the Busmen the lead back five minutes later after redirecting a pinpoint cross from Stephan Schrock.
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