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Shorthanded Ceres runs over unpredictable Voltes to go back on top on Schrock's magic

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- Ceres came from a goal and a man down to pull the rug on a fighting JP Voltes side, 4-2 to cap of Saturday's doubleheader early Saturday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

On loan Stephan Schröck led the title-holders' fightback in the second half, having a hand on two of the three goals, scoring on one and had a part on the other other to overturn a 1-2 deficit and Adrian's early dismissal in the first half for their fifth straight win and shoves them ahead of Loyola on top of the league table on superior goal difference.

"That's why we get him. Everyone knows his caliber," Ceres boss Ali Go said on his most notable signing after the match. 

The former playoff winners from the old UFL2 failed to sustain their momentum after grabbing a precious point last week against Stallion, as their stamina let them down in the next 45 minutes for their second setback in the season, as their enterprising play saw them grab the lead deep into added time of the first half.

"We don't have the stamina to play in the second half, and that's the problem," Voltes' player-manager Yu Hoshide lamented the side's Achilles' heel yet again, as he cited their past matches against Global, Forza and Stallion, but he is delighted that they made the match interesting by scoring two goals to temporarily take the lead at the half.

Ceres drew first just six minutes from the opening whistle, with last season' Golden Boot winner became the willing receipient of Orman Okunaiya's cross from inside the box and he slots the ball into the empty net. But their subsequent shots on goal made its way straight to netminder Nelson Gasic

Voltes made a scare on the Busmen as they almost equalized less than twenty minutes later, when Takumi Uesato's backheader off Hoshide's delivery sailed past Louie Casas but was denied by the crossbar.

But they will not be denied at the hour mark, as Hoshide found William Espinosa on a through ball and the latter equalized on the first touch, as Casas was finally beaten on the nifty volley by the journeyman.

Ceres were reduced to ten men nine minutes before half time after the Spaniard was sent to the showers Krizmark Nañola for his dangerous tackle that took a strange turn to this match, in which even the Voltes' team coordinatror was not spared when Patrick Reichelt unintentionally hit her on his fair play clearance moments after.

"Good thing he admits his mistake. What can we do?", Go said to the media about the temperamental Spaniard who will miss their next match against Stallion because of his dismissal. "This is our season, if we lose this match, that's it," he added.

Then in the third minute of added time, Voltes' aggressiveness on the counterattack paid huge dividends, as Hoshide, Espinosa and J Baguioro created a magnificent passing sequence that Uesato converted a sublime finish to shove themselves ahead at the break.

However, second half was a different story, as Ceres took the fight out of Voltes in the first nine minutes with three unanswered strikes by Schrock, Okunaiya and Reichelt to put the match beyond doubt.

Casas then further compound more misery on the season's surprise package when he denied Uesato's penalty a minute past the hour mark to secure all three points.

Emotions run higher for the rest of the match, with three yellow cards and one more dismissal was made by the officials, with Mikko Mabanag's outburst right after the match were too much for referee Nañola enough to sent him off.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada