SHOWING it is a cut above the rest of the field, Ceres-La Salle demolished Manila Jeepney, 5-0, on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium to move on the verge of capturing the Division 2 crown in the United Football League.
The Division 2 leaders turned an expected dogfight against its closest pursuer into a blowout as they zoomed to an early lead without needing the services of Azkals Patrick Reichelt and Carli de Murga, who are on national duty in Maldives.
Ceres thus stretched its lead over Jeepney to five points with still a game on hand to move a win away from getting promoted to the top tier — less than a month after barely missing the final round of the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup.
With 48 points in 19 games, the reigning national club champions from Bacolod actually need just two points in its remaining three matches to clinch the title over Jeepney, which totes 43 points in 20 games and Philippine Air Force (41 points, 20 games).
Only two of the three remaining contenders will earn spots in Division 1 next year.
Jin Ho Kim fired a brace, including his first goal right in the first minute of the match to open the floodgates.
After Oladipo Okunaiya doubled the lead in the 16th minute, Jayson Panhay and Jin registered back-to-back goals in the 33rd and 34th minutes to give Ceres a commanding lead at halftime.
Kevin Capolei put the exclamation point two minutes before second-half stoppage time when the German midfielder sneaked in a goal.