Filipino club Ceres La Salle FC was booted out of the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup after losing to Tampines Rovers FC, 5-3, on aggregate in the second leg of the semifinals at the Jalan Besar Stadium late Wednesday evening.
Despite forcing overtime through the two strikes of Azkals standouts Stephan Schrock and Patrick Reichelt, Ceres failed to subdue the Singaporeans.
The scoreless period of the match was snapped before the halftime break as top-scorer Schrock, who ended the tourney with a total of six goals, converted from the spot in the final minute of the first half to level the score on aggregate, 2-2.
However, Tampines managed to regroup after the midgame intermission as wingback Hafiz Abu Sujad scored a goal off a pass from Billy Mehmet.
Reichelt posted another goal in the 78th minute after receiving a well-timed cross from Jeffrey Christiaens to once again even the score for both squads.
The two teams traded attacks toward the end of the game but were unable to convert, sending the game into overtime.
With just ten players on their side, the Busmen suffered another blow in the initial 15 minutes of overtime after Reichelt was stretchered off the pitch. Singaporean defender Afiq Yunos took advantage of the situation and scored a goal in the 105th minute.
It all went downhill for the Mighty Stags in the final minutes of the bout as Saifullah Akbar added another goal to beef up their lead following the deciding shot in the 112th minute.
Ceres La Salle earned their trip to the knockout phase of the tourney after winning the opening games of the competition.
The defending United Football League champions beat the Young Lions FC, 3-1, and thumped Brunei DPMM FC, 5-3, in the quarterfinals with three goals courtesy of Schrock.
Besides Ceres, another Philippine club, Global FC, also competed in the international tilt for Southeast Asian clubs but lost to Tampines, 5-2, in the quarterfinals.
Jaelle Nevin Reyes