Schrock and Ceres stun Kaya in semifinal opener

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STEPHAN SCHROCK and Ceres-Negros FC stunned Kaya FC-Makati and its supporters on Sunday when they scored in stoppage time of the first leg of their Philippines Football League finals series to hack out the 1-0 victory and claim the early upper hand.

While the match was seemingly on its way to a goalless draw after a regulation play that saw both teams not caving in to one another, Mr. Schrock and Ceres had other plans as the former national player struck in stoppage time (90’+2) to give his team the first-leg win and possibly a shot at playing in the finals of the inaugural season of the national football league.

Mr. Schrock showcased his slick attacking skills in breaking through for the goal, eluding the Kaya defense as he made his assault and keeping the ball out of the reach of Kaya goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma to shock the home fans who trekked to the University of Makati Stadium.

It was culmination of a game that saw the two teams having their respective chances for a goal throughout the match but just could not complete them.

Mr. Schrock said his goal was simply a result of just digging deep and his desire to make one last go at a goal.

“I cannot really remember what happened. I just knew I had one thing left in the final minute, so I got the ball and took it. I’m happy to give the team the winner because they deserve it under such [difficult] circumstances,” said Mr. Schrock, named man of the match, after the game.

He went on to say that the work is not done for them and that they have to build on their first-leg win for they know Kaya would try hard to bounce back.

“We’re happy with the little advantage we have for the second leg, but we know Kaya will do everything to win it. You can be sure we’ll be ready to do everything to win as well,” said Mr. Schrock.

Quite understandably, the defeat left Kaya frustrated, recognizing it allowed the game to slip away from its hands with the Schrock goal.

“First of all it’s really frustrating. For the whole 90 minutes, I don’t think we allowed them to settle for even a short amount of time. The energy was there. The aggressiveness was there. The willingness to really take this game away from Ceres — it was all there. I don’t know what else we need to do. We created lots of chances. But it’s just — we didn’t get the result,” a frustrated Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida said following the match.

Just the same, they are hoping to have a better result in the return leg in Bacolod City on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The second leg of the Ceres-Kaya final series is set for 7 p.m. at the Panaad Park and Football Stadium. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo