Ceres flies past Forza to arrange UFL Cup semis meeting against Kaya

Mark Cristino/UFL

By John Paul Abcede

MANILA--Ceres completely dominated Forza, 7-0, in the final quarterfinal match Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to complete the UFL Cup semifinal cast.

Six different Busmen were on the scoresheet, with Bienve Marañon bagging a brace, and was duly backed up by Jeffrey Christiaens, Nate Burkey, Adrian Gallardo, Jalsor Soriano and Jayson Panhay in a rout of the former UFL2 side.

“I just told the boys to not take anyone lightly,” said Ceres coach Ali Go. “They responded well. They kept the pressure, all in all, it was good,” Go added.

Stephan Schröck joined the warmups but was not fielded in as he is still recovering from an injury. 

Joining him in the sidelines are national team members Manny Ott, who played a critical role in the Azkals’ victory over North Korea on Tuesday in their final World Cup qualifier, and midfielder Kevin Ingreso, who is also suffering from a knock and will not be back until a few weeks from now.

Christiaens opened the floodgates in the 15th minute on a left-footed volley from inside the box with Burkey doubled the tally two minutes later in an acrobatic strike from close range off the cross of the former Global left-back

The Spanish winger then made it 4-0 before the half with a brace, first a left-foot tap-in and a header off a Burkey header from a corner.

Adrian Gallardo, Jalsor Soriano, and Jayson Panhay added themselves to the scoresheet as the reigning League champions continued their onslaught in the second half, the pro-Ceres crowd more than happy with the outcome.

Next up for Ceres on Wednesday is Kaya in a battle of 2016 AFC Cup participants. Whichever club emerges after the dust settles will be one win away from securing a slot to next year’s AFC Cup tournament.

“Kaya is a strong team,” Go admitted as he still is not over in the defeat he incurred from his nemesis in last season’s UFL Cup final. He also shared that some of his wards are on the mend as he hopes that he can employ a full strength lineup in two days’ time with another AFC Cup assignment looming against Singapore's Tampines Rovers in Panaad next week.

Follow him on Twitter: @jpabcede