CERES-La Salle and Global FC registered contrasting victories on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to advance to the United Football League Cup semifinals on Wednesday.
Ceres cruised past Forza, 7-0, after a 10-man Global outlasted JP Voltes, 1-0, to complete the semifinal cast in the season-opening tournament.
Ceres, the reigning league titlist, set up a Final Four date with defending champion Kaya FC in a faceoff between the Philippine representatives in the AFC Cup.
Global, on the other hand, takes on Stallion FC in a match featuring former league champions.
For a while, though, Global’s chances of reaching the semis looked bleak as it found the Japanese-loaded Voltes a tough nut to crack. Worse, Filipino-Iranian standout Omid Nazari was sent off six minutes before first-half stoppage time after picking up a second yellow card.
But Global finally unlocked the Voltes defense in the 57th courtesy of an Ivorian striker Arthur Kouassi, who struck just a minute after replacing Izzo El-Habbib, before the squad held the fort to preserve the win.
Ceres, on the other hand, hardly broke a sweat as the Busmen built a four-goal lead in the first half before sustaining the onslaught after intermission against Forza.
Bien Marañon fired a brace, while Jeff Christiaens, Nate Burkey, Adrian Gallardo, Jalsor Soriano, and Jayson Panhay added a goal apiece for the Bacolod-based side.