Stephan Schrock and Ceres-Negros FC were victorious at home against Global Cebu FC in the first-ever ‘Visayas Clasico’
Meralco Manila maintained its perfect record in the Philippines Football League with a 2-0 home victory over the gritty Davao Aguilas last Saturday while Ceres Negros edged Global Cebu, 1-0, in a thrilling first ‘Visayas Clasico’ at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
The Sparks leaned on goals from Curt Dizon and James Younghusband in each half at Rizal Memorial Stadium as they rolled to a fourth victory just before the international break.
Leftback Jeffrey Christiaens scored the only goal in the 83rd minute at Panaad where midfield dynamo Stephan Schrock made an instant impact in his return to the Bacolod-based club, assisting on the match-winner.
The Busmen’s breakthrough victory against their biggest rivals came just three days after their AFC Cup Asean zonals conquest of Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta’zim.
Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic took pride in his squad’s performance.
“Defensively they were very strong,”We insisted, and we scored finally and I’m very happy for the players,” said Vidakovic whose squad has four points from two matches.
“It’s not easy to play these kinds of games, especially coming off an important match. Thankfully my players were very professional and I’m very happy.”
The Busmen found Pat Deyto tough to beat with the Global goalkeeper denying Martin Steuble and Iain Ramsay with big saves in the first half. But he could do little to stop Christiaens from scoring inside the six yard box after the leftback was set up by Schrock’s cross.
“It’s nice to score, but the most important is three points,” said Christiaens. “I’m just the lucky one to score. Schrocky did a great job. He put it perfect, right in front of the goal. I didn’t think, I just put at the back of the net.”
Dizon struck his second goal of the season in the sixth minute after Davao failed to clear a cross from Joaco Canas. Younghusband slotted in Manila’s second after another moment of indecision from the Davao defense inside the box.
“Davao played well,” said Meralco coach Aris Caslib. “We were fortunate in the small moments of the game.”
Davao Aguilas coach Gary Phillips said his side remains a work in progress.
“We are missing that little quality,” said Phillips, after the Aguilas lost a third straight match. “We have young players who are still learning the game but we need to learn more quickly.”
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