THE goalscorers were the same, but the result was different and far better.
Patrick Reichelt and Juani Guirado replicated their goal-scoring efforts as Ceres-La Salle moved on the verge of a breakthrough finals stint in the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup with a 2-0 blanking of Chine’s Taipei’s Tatung on Thursday night at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
The Azkals standouts scored for the second straight game for the national club champions, who notched a first victory after settling for a draw against Rimyongsu of North Korea last Tuesday.
Ceres, the Philippine representative in the club tournament for emerging Asian footballing nations, thus improved its point total to four points to gain the top spot in Group B, ahead of Turkmenistan’s HTTU Asgabat on goals scored.
Ceres can clinch one of the two finals berths with a draw in its last game on Saturday against Asgabat, which battled third-running Rimyongsu to a 1-1 stalemate earlier.
Reichelt, who signed a two-year contract with Ceres last February, struck a volley off a free kick from fellow prized acquisition Carli de Murga to put their club on the scoreboard 17 minutes gone by.
After continuing to dominate possession, the Bacolod-based side was rewarded anew three minutes before second-half injury time when Guirado headed home a denied free kick by Angelo Marasigan.
Goalkeeper Michael Casas also shone as Ceres’ last line of defense, denying several shots mostly in the first half from the Taiwanese strikeforce.