15 Oct Match Report: Ceres Negros FC 3-2 Kaya FC Makati
Ten-man Ceres Negros FC clutched victory late on as they came away 3-2 winners over Kaya FC Makati in a thrilling match at the Pana-ad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
The game produced three goals in the opening minutes of the match, but it was Fernando Rodriguez who grabbed the headlines with a last gasp winner in the fourth minute of added time.
The win puts Ceres just three points behind second-placed Kaya with 38 points and still hold several games in hand.
Kaya drew first blood in the third minute. League top scorer Jordan Mintah broke the deadlock with a tap-in from Robert Lopez Mendy’s pass.
Makati’s lead did not last long. Bienvenido Marañon was able to rise for the header past Ref Cuaresma in the 10th minute.
Ceres took the lead five minutes later. Rodriguez was able to pounce on the ball after the cross from the right side. Ceres went to the half toting a 2-1 advantage.
Minutes in to the second half, Kaya found the back of the net to make it 2-2. Alfred Osei was on the end of the shot after Roland Muller fumbled the ball in the box.
Tempers flared following the goal after the Ceres players adjudged that Muller was fouled in the area, but was not given by the referee. In addition, Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic was sent off for his continuous protests
The match turned on its head with 12 minutes left after Jeffrey Christiaens was sent off for a second yellow card, but the tide was riding on Ceres despite the disadvantage.
Ceres won a penalty with minutes left in regulation. Alfred Osei committed a foul inside the box leaving the referee to point to the spot. Marañon stepped up for the spot kick but saw his effort denied by Cuaresma.
The drama did not finish there. With ten minutes added after the 90 minutes, Rodriguez finally struck gold. Receiving the ball from the right flank, the forward was unmarked inside the box and had the time of day to slot home the winning goal sending the Ceres fans in delirium.
“We are very proud (that the team) fought,” said Ceres Assistant Coach Pepe Losada. “The field was so wet and we adapted so good to the pitch.”
“It was really a wild game,” said Kaya coach Noel Marcaida. “We came here to get the three points. We’re disappointed. But for me, the important thing is, my players really did well. I said before the game, we needed to start strong and finish strong, and we did that.”