CEBU CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Ceres Negros FC has made history after becoming the inaugural champions of the first-ever Philippines Football League (PFL) after routing bitter rival Global Cebu FC, 4-1, at their home at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Ceres midfielder Iain Ramsay had a big night as he demolished Global with a hat-trick in the 20th, 27th and 61st.
Ceres rout was started by Spanish footballer Bienvenido Marañón in the 4th minute.
Global’s lone goal was scored by Darryl Roberts in the 89th minute of the match.
While the Busmen looked sharp all throughout the night, Global’s Misagh Bahadoran and Paolo Salenga tried to keep up but their attempts either went wide, hit the post or were saved by Roland Müller.
With Ceres leading 3-0 at halftime, and Ramsay completing his hat trick at the 61st minute, the match was pretty much decided.
Ceres could have made it 5 if not for the fast action of Global keeper Patrick Deyto.
After 28 games in a span of 7 months, Ceres stamped its name on the first-ever PFL trophy.
The inaugural PFL couldn’t have had a better finals by having the Visayas Classico – between bitter rivals Global Cebu FC vs Ceres Negros FC.
The final was dimmed when Ceres thoroughly outclassed Global with its crisp passing to which Global just couldn’t find an answer, a very different story from their 4 meetings during the eliminations which were all nail-biting encounters.
Aside from the PFL, both teams also got their hands full with the continental Asian Football Confederation (SFC) Cup and the Singapore Cup. Not to mention national call-ups because both teams are manned by several members of the Philippine Azkals, the country’s national football team.
Both teams had fought hard for their finals ticket in the two-legged semifinal. Ceres advanced to the championship round with a 3-1 aggregate win over Kaya FC Makati while Global had it tougher by overcoming top ranked FC Meralco Manila 3-2, also on aggregate in come from behind fashion.
Ceres ended the eliminations on a higher rank at no. 2 after finishing with 57 points equivalent to 17 wins, 6 draws and 5 loses.
Global was at 4th with 47 points following a 13-8-7 card.
FC Meralco ends at third place following a 3-1 victory against Kaya FC at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila last Friday night. – Rappler.com