Defending League Champions Ceres-La Salle FC whitewashed a nine-man Forza FC, 10-0, and moved to second place of the table at the 2016 United Football League, Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The former Division II team literally started with nine men in the pitch.
The ploy of parking the bus initially paid its dividends for the shorthanded Forza squad. Despite several probing balls inside the box, Ceres-La Salle could not smash the deadlock as Stephan Schröck’s forward passes went straight to opposing keeper Abu Ibrahim.
Eventually, the inevitable happened as Manny Ott finally took Ceres’ first goal at the 23rd minute. The midfielder raced into the box and scored from close range against Ibrahim. Former UFL Cup Golden Boot awardee Adrian Gallardo Valdes then doubled their lead at the 37th minute after he finished off a pass from Bienve Marañon.
Before added time in the first half, the second-goal assister Marañon made it 3-0 for Ceres when he took advantage of a loose ball off an Ibrahim save. Schröck finally broke his slump and added another goal at added time with a powerful shot inside the box, and Ceres went to the half with a 4-0 lead.
With the flood gates open, most of the second period was played in Forza’s half of the pitch as Ceres-La Salle continued to dominate the possession. After multiple saves from Ibahim and stops from the white-shirts’ defenders, Ceres-La Salle finally plucked another one 17 minutes after the restart. It took a foul off Forza’s Hayato Aoki on Ott inside the box for the opportunity to happen. Gallardo Valdes converted on the penalty kick to take his second goal and his club’s fifth of the match.
After being involved in several build up plays, Patrick Reichelt plucked one of his own at the 73rd minute when he finished a Marwin Angeles cross. His opposite winger, Jeffrey Christaens also scored five minutes after, firing off Schröck’s delivery into the back of the net.
At the 82nd minute Schröck almost doubled his output, but Ibrahim denied him once again. The top-class midfielder would not be denied on the ensuing corner kick, however, as he sent a lovely ball into the box for Nate Burkey to head into the goal and past the feisty Forza keeper.
Fatigue took its toll on Ibrahim at the 87th minute and play was temporarily halted. The keeper stood up and tried to finish the match.
Seconds after, however, Carli De Murga received another lovely ball inside the box and guided the ball into the goal with a header. Gallardo Valdes then closed out the game with a hat trick after scoring from a tight angle in added time.
Ceres-La Salle Head Coach Ali Go was visibly disappointed with Forza having only nine men to start the match. He said, “We came in, we are prepared. Then, this happens.”
The multi-titled coach would take the win and said that they are looking forward to face a better opposition in JP Voltes FC in their next game. He said, “At least we know JP Voltes will fight.”
Highlights (courtesy of Smile8)
That Ceres–JP Voltes tussle happens on Saturday, June 18 at 4pm. Ceres-La Salle is tied for second spot with Loyola Meralco Sparks with 12 points, while JP Voltes is just 2 points adrift in third place. Meanwhile, Forza faces the Sparks earlier in the day at 1:45pm.
Photo by Mark Cristino/UFL