Ceres-Negros FC barged into its first Copa Paulino Alcantara semi-final after a 4-0 win over Green Archers United Wednesday night at the Aboitiz Pitch in Lipa Batangas. Stephan Schrock was declared Man of the Match after producing three assists.
Bienvenido Maranon was the first to get on target but his chance in the 11th went straight to the keeper. Stephen Appiah had a half chance just moments later but his shot from the dangerous area was off target.
The Busmen went ahead in the 16th minute when James Younghusband pounced on a rebound after Schrock’s brilliant free kick was tapped to the crossbar by Bandeken Fong.
The Green and white squad had a couple of chances from Tating Pasilan and Appiah but none could hit the target. The half would finish with the league champions ahead at 1-0.
Both teams started the second half strong and it was not until in the 68th minute when Ott sent a rocket to the top left corner after a brilliant cross from Schrock.
The two squads used up their substitution in the final half hour as Ceres-Negros brought in Junior Munoz, Robert Lopez Mendy, and Charles Barberan while the Archers put in Val Jurao and Jimuel Arriola.
The action started to pick up in the final fifteen when Barberan found Lopez Mendy with a cross that the Senegalese volleyed but was saved by Bandeken Fong.
The Busmen made it 3-0 in the 80th minutewhen Schrock found an overlapping Barberan with the former USLS man heading home his first goal of the season.
Lopez Mendy also joined the scoring after a well-timed run allowed him to go on a one-on-one with Ray Joyel, which he eluded to score his fourth goal of the tournament.
“Were so happy to win this game,” said Assistant Coach Ian Treyes. “This (win) is for the club. We thank the efforts of everybody doing their best throughout the ninety minutes,” he added.
The full time whistle blew as Ceres-Negros qualified for their first semi-final appearance in the Alcantara Cup.
“Congratulations to the team,” said Schrock. “It’s not an easy situation right now as some players had to leave, some are injured, and some are out for personal reasons. We’re very happy with the performance today and that we advanced to the semi-final.”
The league champions will next face Stallion Laguna in the semi-finals while Kaya Iloilo will meet Mendiola, who came from two goals down from the Azkals U22 to secure qualification to the next round.*ceresfootball.com
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