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Tiebreaker Times


Kaya, Ceres register emphatic wins to boost ailing campaigns

The two continental representatives, Kaya and Ceres-La Salle, emerged as Saturday afternoon’s big winners in the United Football League after posting resounding victories at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Kaya thumped Laos 8-0 before Ceres-La Salle outclassed the Loyola Meralco Sparks 4-1. For Kaya, it gives them a way back into the mix in the race for the top two with their 28-point haul just six less than the now fourth-placed Sparks. As for Ceres-La Salle, the result revives their title defense. They still trail league leaders Global by six points with only six games left in the season.

Kaya’s ruthless offense against a Laos team lost all but three games in the tournament was evident as soon as the second minute. Kenshiro Daniels pounced on a defensive lapse to give Kaya the early lead. It then took 15 minutes for Kaya to add to their lead thanks to Louis Clark. Sean Kane quickly padded it to three and Junior Muñoz joined the party 11 minutes into the break. The halftime score was 4-0.

Come the second half, the Laos defense fought hard to stop the goal count at four, but their resistance fell 20 minutes after the restart. Clark bagged his second of the night through a headed conversion of Daniels’ cross. Fourteen minutes before the end, John Bastasa gave away a penalty when he fouled Janrick Soriano in the area. The fouled Kaya midfielder then made the spot kick to increase the lead.

The scoring party wasn’t over at that point just yet for two of Kaya’s danger men up front managed to top off their performances with more goals. Daniels completed his brace just before Clark sealed a hat trick with about three minutes left in the match. It also ended the goal scoring barrage, stopping at eight perhaps to the relief of Laos’ players.

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In the main event, Ceres-La Salle dispatched the Loyola Meralco Sparks by four goals to one to inch closer towards Global. Stephan Schröck led the way with a hat trick with the first two coming inside the first 21 minutes of action. The Azkals midfielder displayed his set piece prowess in the first goal while a decent finish secured his second goal of the day. It was perhaps a deserved lead for Ceres-La Salle who spent most of the game on the attacking end.

The Busmen from Negros took the 2-0 cushion towards the break but it may have been uncomfortable had it been for a botched Loyola chance in the 34th minute. James Younghusband just managed to get a touch on Phil Younghusband’s cross but the elder brother’s attempt ended up wide. That was the best the Sparks got to breaching the Ceres defense in the first half.

Six minutes after the interval, Ceres’ advantage grew courtesy of Manny Ott. The ex-Ingolstadt man buried a shot in the area past Loyola goalkeeper Guillherme Hasegawa to put the game almost if not beyond the reach of the Sparks.

The deficit, nonetheless, did not rattle the Sparks and instead galvanized them to forge a comeback. They saw more of the possession after going three goals behind but their inability to finish sequences kept them at bay from Ceres-La Salle. Their focus on attacking became too much that a counter attack from Ceres-La Salle in the 82nd minute caught them off guard. Schröck completed his hat trick with a shot tucked in with grace off a breakaway.

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It wasn’t all bad for Loyola in the end, however, when Simon Greatwich netted off a set piece in the 88th minute to provide the Loyola fans a little reason to celebrate.

The late goal merely denies Louie Casas a clean sheet, something the defense might be upset about but surely does little in dampening the mood of Ceres-La Salle who return to winning ways following the heartbreaking 0-1 loss to Kaya in the previous week. Now they still have a good chance to chase Global and possibly keep the title they won last year.


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