CERES-LA Salle hardly skipped a beat as it pummeled Philippine Army, 7-0, in the United Football League on Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Playing in their second match in three days after a two-week layoff, the reigning Division 2 champions followed up a 3-0 rout of Pachanga-Diliman with another shutout victory that kept them unbeaten after three starts.
Ceres also jumped three places up to second, tied with Kaya, Loyola Meralco, and Stallion FC with nine points, but ahead on goal difference, while leaving the Troopers stuck at the bottom, still winless in four outings.
Adrian Gallardo stuck the first hat-trick in the league this season, while Nate Burkey also had a hand in three goals — a brace and an assist — to lead Ceres, which leaned on a strong first half then took advantage of an Army side that went a man down in the second half.
Jayson Panhay and Jeffrey Christiaens likewise found the back of the net for the newly promote side, sparking the rout with the former’s goal scored barely a minute gone by in the match, then the latter doubling the lead with a looping shot in the 32nd minute.
Then Gallardo, a standout striker from Spain, and Azkal Burkey registered a brace each the rest of the first half for an insurmountable lead.
Things turned from bad to worse for Army after intermission as midfielder Erwin Silvestre was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in a span of just of four minutes, the second in the 54th that left them with just 10 men.
Ceres continued to dominated possession then got rewarded with Gallardo’s third goal off Burkey 11 minutes before stoppage time.
Gallardo could’ve scored more had his attempt four minutes into the match not hit the crossbar.