MANILA, Philippines – Despite playing without its home crowd, Ceres-Negros FC continued to show its opponents no mercy and hacked out a 4-0 drubbing of Bali United on Wednesday, March 11, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The three-time Philippines Football League (PFL) champions were forced to play behind closed doors as announced on Tuesday due to the spike in confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines.
Ceres now leads Group G with 7 points off 2 wins and 1 draw and a +8 goal difference while Bali United settles at the bottom with 3 points.
After a series of home games to kick off their AFC Cup campaign, the Busmen will face Bali United once again on April 14 in Indonesia.
The Bacolod-based squad had an unfavorable start to the game as Manny Ott and Pika Minegishi each picked up yellow cards in the 20th and 24th minutes, respectively.
OJ Porteria broke the deadlock in the 35th minute to give Ceres the 1-0 lead until halftime.
With the second half starting with a trio of yellow cards from both sides, Ceres' leading scorer Bienvenido Marañon brought the action back with a spot kick in the 54th minute.
The Spanish forward successfully went for a brace to triple the Busmen's lead as he headed in a goal off Stephan Schrock's assist in the 69th minute.
Ceres secured the momentum and Robert Mendy Lopez completed the thrashing with a goal off an assist from Manny Ott in the 73rd minute.
Schrock, though, failed to escape the aggressive game as he got booked for his second yellow in the tournament, which will force him to sit out Ceres' next game against the Indonesians next month. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.