Reichelt header sends Ceres to PFF-Smart semis

Mymy Alagaban/SCOOP-Bacolod (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

Patrick Reichelt played hero for Ceres as the defending PFF-Smart Club Championship winner joined Loyola in the semifinals with a 1-0 win against Laos in the final Group A match of the quarterfinals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila City.

Reichelt retrieved the ball off a midair scramble and sent the header past Saba Garmaroudi in the 56th minute for the only goal of the match, which was enough to steal the second Final Four berth from Kaya, which was held to a 2-2 draw against Loyola in the earlier clash.

Ceres, known for having great attackers in Reichelt, Adrian Gallardo, and Nate Burkey, opted to play slow in the first half but still made efforts to keep Garmaroudi, who got hurt twice in the half, busy.

But the club began pouring it on early in the second half as Burkey and Oladipo Okunaiya went for shots that went straight to Garmaroudi.

A minute later, Reichelt joined the group chasing for the ball inside the box and sent a header to the goal. He, however, was later booked for taunting.

The also-ran Laos, which stuck on its gameplan to play a defense-oriented game, only made a few threats in the entire match.

Ceres finished in second place with six points, while Laos ended its quarterfinal campaign winless.