Ceres beats Stallion in emotional match

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The last time Ceres and Stallion met during the Smart-PFF Club Championship, the match ended in a peaceful mood despite being a playoff game.

On Sunday night, it was a totally different kind of match that yielded the same result.

Ceres stretched its winning streak to five by handing Stallion a 3-0 defeat in their highly-physical UFL clash at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Adrian Gallardo scored twice in the 42nd and the 77th minutes, while Juani Guirado flicked a header seconds into the second stoppage time for the final score of the game that was stopped for 30 minutes when the floodlights went off.

The scoreline was exactly the same scoreline in their Smart-PFF Championship third place playoff last January.

However, things got feisty this time.

Coach Ali Go got upset to Referee Wally Bermejo when the latter decided at the last moment not to hand Christian Nana a red card after a lengthy talk with Stallion captain Balut Doctora.

Bermejo then got the ire of the Stallion players in the final minute of play when he declared also at the last second that a foul committed by the opposing player took place just on the line of the penalty area. The referee initially called a penalty on that foul but later changed the call after a consultation with the assistant referee. The free kick hit the Ceres wall as time expired.

Just as the game ended, Stallion coach Ernie Nierras and Ceres midfielder Patrick Reichelt had a confrontation when Reichelt appeared to have said something to Nierras. Cooler heads prevailed a little later.

Ceres now holds a perfect 5-0-0 win-draw-loss record for 15 points entering the Lenten Season break with two matches at hand that will be played at the resumption of play in April.