Eight goals in the first half plus six more in the second totalled an astounding 14-0 win for Ceres-La Salle FC against non-league Bright Star FC, to cap off the Sunday night action in the second weekend of the UFL Cup 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. In effect, Ceres virtually booked their place in the quarterfinal round, while their opponents have been officially knocked out of the competition.
Ceres took no time to get themselves going in the match. The current UFL Division I leaders had a chance to net as soon as the third minute with Adrian Gallardo’s shots saved and Martin Steuble’s rebound striking the bar. In the ensuing play, Valentine Kama drilled in a wonderful shot off a Gallardo attempt that hit the woodwork to breach past Arian Azarcon. It signalled the start of what turned out to be a scoring barrage for Ceres. At the sixth minute, Oladipo Okunaiya sent the ball to Jason Panhay who nonchalantly sneaked the ball into the far side of the goal, making it 2-0. Right after that, there were a couple of missed shots from Gallardo, but the Spaniard made amends by slotting home Marwin Angeles’ cross for their team’s third goal with only 13 minutes played in the match.
Not long afterwards, Ceres added their lead courtesy of Kama. The Ghanaian received a fine pass from Manny Ott before tucking the ball straight into the net. Panhay joined Kama in the brace party after he found himself with enough space to comfortably put the ball in for Ceres’ fifth of the night. Gallardo soon became the third Ceres player who scored twice by converting Panhay’s cross into a goal. Before halftime, two other players made it to the scoresheet. With 16 minutes still to be played in the second half, Martin Steuble smashed the ball from around 35 yards, prompting Pierre Collins to send Valentino Tolentino in the place of Azarcon. The keeper change paused the bleeding for some time, but Nate Burkey’s effort, at the 42nd minute, made it eight inside the opening 45 minutes of the match.
More of the same can be said in the second half, as Ceres kept on bludgeoning the hapless Bright Star XI. Coming off the bench, Lee Jeong Woo collected the ball from teammate Cho Kyum Son before sliding the ball excellently past Tolentino. It took some time afterwards for the Negros team to find the net after the restart, as Burkey and Lee squandered the opportunities to make it 10-0 inside the first 10 minutes of the second period. Adakole Adams nearly pulled one back for Bright Star but his attempt was safely caught by Ceres keeper Eduard Sacapaño at the 59th minute. Two minutes later, Cho tested Tolentino, who held to the ball in order to prevent his side from conceding another goal. Yet in the following minutes, Lee scored twice in quick succession to complete his hattrick and make it 11-0 for Ceres.
The leading team, then, relaxed for a bit, allowing Bright Star to move deeper inside Ceres’ half. The team in white managed to win a free kick. Moustapha Diarra took it, but it lacked power to beat Sacapaño. That was to be the last bright moment for Bright Star as Ceres kept control. Not content with an 11-goal advantage, they even found ways to score thrice in the space of the game’s last 15 minutes. At the 76th minute, Lee notched his fourth goal in just 31 minutes of action. With two minutes left in normal time, Marvin Angeles located twin brother Marwin who knew what to do in order to beat Tolentino and tally the team’s 13th goal. Lastly, Burkey scored his second at the first minute of added time to close out a record-matching win by Ceres. The biggest recorded margin in UFL Cup history was 15-1, then registered by the Loyola Meralco Sparks against Team Socceroo FC.
“We won our two games, but I think that the 100% of their game was no there. I don’t blame the boys for that but I said we have to do something quick to fix this because [it is a] mentality that we had,” Ceres Manager Ali Go thought prior to this match. They pulled out a 4-0 win over Division II team Pasargad and a slender 2-1 win against the Philippine Army, both appearing unconvincing both on paper and on the pitch. “I‘m happy with the result. At the end of the day, it’s a good game for us,” he added, noting only the unnecessary bookings as the sole blemish of a remarkable night in Ceres-La Salle FC history.
After playing and winning the first three UFL Cup games, Ceres will take a 13-day long break before going for pole position in Group A against Green Archers United, who also remain undefeated themselves. As for Bright Star FC, they are due to play their last UFL Cup game versus Pasargad, where they will hope to finish their tournament on a good note.