DEFENDING Philippines Football League champion Ceres-Negros FC made it back-to-back wins since returning to league action after its AFC Cup campaign, beating Green Archers United FC, 4-3, in a fire-fight at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite, on Wednesday.
Faced a determined GAU side, the “Busmen” held steady and strong throughout the contest to survive the challenge and improve their record to 4-1-0 and 13 points, currently good for second place in the ongoing tournament.
The win was in follow-up to their 4-0 victory over Mendiola FC 1991 on Saturday where they made a successful return to the PFL after their AFC Cup bid came to an end with a semifinal defeat in the ASEAN Zonals.
Ceres started strong against GAU, scoring consecutive times in the fifth and sixth minute care of OJ Porteria and Stephan Schrock, respectively.
Jimuel Ariola managed to cut GAU’s deficit to half, 2-1, in the 11th minute when he found the bottom of the net.
Unfortunately for the team, an own goal from defender John Resty Gumban in the 14th minute gave another two-point cushion for Ceres, 3-1.
The two teams went back-and-forth after before Bienvenido Maranon scored another goal for the Busmen in the 37th minute to make it a 4-1 lead for them.
But Mr. Ariola kept GAU within striking distance just before the halftime break, scoring his second goal in the game in the 39th minute to tow his team to within two points, 4-2.
GAU kept the pressure on Ceres as the second half unfolded as Mr. Ariola once again punched a goal in the 53rd minute to make it a 4-3 game.
They tried to propel their push further the rest of the way but the Green Archers would not be able to do so as Ceres held tight and did what it was suppose to do to survive and book the win.
Kaya FC-Iloilo (5-0-0) continues to lead the PFL tournament with 15 points, followed by Ceres, Stallion Laguna FC (3-2-1) with 11 points and GAU with 10 points from a 3-1-2 card. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo