Top-seeds Ceres-La Salle FC dominated Green Archers United FC (GAU), 7-0, in a battle of the hottest teams in the continuing action of the second round of the 2015 United Football League (UFL), Wednesday evening, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The men in blue played true to their game plan to attack as soon as kickoff. At the second minute, an early chance from Manny Ott off a free kick was just tapped out by Green Archers keeper Kim Versales. Ceres’ striker Adrian Gallardo then connected to Patrick Reichelt, only for the shot to sail out. The offensive pressure paid off for the visitors at the sixth minute, when a long through ball from former Azkal Jason Sabio found Lee Jeong Woo, who then sent it to Gallardo for the finish.
Despite the early goal, Ceres continued to dominate the possession and stifled any chance for the Green Archers to control the ball. The away squad defended the midfield well and was able to intercept all the passes of the opponents in this part of the pitch. Ten minutes from the opening score, Gallardo doubled his output and his team’s lead. Sabio drove towards the inside of the box and delivered a pass to the forward, and flicked the ball into the back of the net. At the 19th minute, the leading Golden Boot candidate registered a hattrick off a pass by Reichelt, who intercepted the ball on top of the box.
It was pretty much all Ceres for the whole match who kept the ball at a staggering 63% of the time. The leading team added another goal four minutes before halftime to build a comfortable lead. Lee struck the ball before it went out of the pitch and into the goal. Versales tried to kick it away, but it bounced into the onion bag. The Green Archers tried to steal one in stoppage time, only for their attempts to be snuffed by the defense.
In the second half, the home side tried to keep in step with Ceres in terms of attacking possession. The Green Archers were finally able to feed passes into their middle and final third, but were still lacking creativity with regards to finishing. It was Ceres, who made most of their chances to score. Bienvenido Marañon added another goal 10 minutes before the half-hour mark when he fired a well-timed pass from the arc.
Jovanie Simpron was the brightest spot for the Green Archers as he managed to string up a couple of passes to teammate Robert Lopez Mendy; nonetheless, none of the opportunities bothered Ceres’ custodian Louie Casas. On the other hand, the visitors kept on attacking in every chance they get. At the 61st minute, Marañon found himself inside the box for an attempt at goal, but was fouled Reynald Villareal. The Spaniard calmly sank the penalty kick to put the game out of reach and virtually sealed the match for the league’s top team.
Tating Pasilan had a golden opportunity for GAU’s last shot for a mark at the scoreboard, but the substitute forward muffed the shot wide. As if the scoreline was not enough, Lee scored his second of the match off a lob shot over Versales, at exactly the final minute, to put the exclamation point in this comprehensive win for the title-seeking Ceres-La Salle team.
When asked about the win, Ceres-La Salle Head Coach Ali Go was delighted that his squad executed the plan for this match perfectly. The reason behind this is as he said, “We know how the Green Archers play. You make a mistake, they’ll punish you.” The long-time tactician was also happy they got early goals for they set the tone for the match. His team is six points and two wins away to secure the title, but Go said that his wards will try to take every game seriously until the end of the season.
Ceres-La Salle stakes their unbeaten run in the second round against Kaya FC on Sunday, July 19. Meanwhile, Green Archers United attempts to get back to its winning ways when they battle Stallion FC on Saturday, July 18.