CERES is just one step away from completing its magical run in the Philippine Football Federation-Smart National Club Championships after it outclassed Kaya, 3-1, in the semifinals on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
After huge wins against United Football League giants Global and Stallion, the provincial squad continued its giant-killing ways, building an early lead and never letting up against Kaya to reach the Finals.
“I’m so happy. Who would have thought we could make it this far?” Ceres coach Freddie Lazarito said of his team made up of Negros Occidental players, Koreans, and British booters. “So the victory of the team is very memorable.”
Jayson Panhay and Koreans Yoon Beyong Jun and Choi Gun Hee scored the goals for Ceres, which is now waiting in the championship round for the winner of the Green Archers United-Pasargad semifinal match being played as of posting time.
Panhay struck the opening goal in the 24th minute before Beyong doubled the lead four minutes from halftime.
National team member Chris Greatwich, Kaya’s top offseason acquisition, provided a measure of hope for his team when he scored six minutes into the second half off a pass from OJ Porteria.
But a penalty kick by Choi in the 83rd minute ultimately doused the Kaya comeback.
“I told them that if we just hold the ball (late in the game), we will win the game kasi na-mark na nain ang mga players nila,” Lazarito said.