Ceres Negros FC displayed its relentless offense as it gunned down Davao Aguilas FC, 3-1, for a triumphant return to the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Spanish strikers Fernando Rodriguez and Bienvenido Marañon struck in opposite halves while Jeffrey Christiaens punctuated the victory late in the match leading the Yellow Busmen to their ninth win in 13 games for an improved tally of 28 points.
“The guys did everything there. Credit goes to the players,” said Ceres Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic, whose wards showed no signs of rust coming off their magical run in the Asian Football Confederation Cup.
Davao Aguilas mentor Gary Philipps rued his team’s missed chances in the first half, which he believed could have produced a result in their favor.
“We just couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities,” said Philipps, whose Mindanao-based club fell to its seventh loss in 15 games and remained with six points.
Rodriguez tapped in a well-placed cross from Christiaens to fire off Ceres’ scoring spree just 18 minutes into the game.
The Busmen went on another brilliant display of team play as OJ Porteria nullified Davao’s defense inside the box before dishing out a fine layoff to Marañon, who slotted home the ball in the 50th minute.
Rodriguez returned the favor to Christiaens , passing a sneaky assist as the Belgian-Filipino defender converted three minutes before time.
Australian forward Harrison Sawyer notched the consolation goal for Davao in the stoppage period.
The match was supposed to be held at at the Aguilas nest in Davao Del Norte Sports Complex but the stadium in Tagum City was unavailable due to electric maintenance. JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA