Cebu deposes Makati in first PFL edition of "Clasico"

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—New league, same level of intensity.

In the end, however, only one went home with the full three points.

Global Cebu pipped Kaya Makati, 3-1, in the latest chapter to their rivalry once dubbed as the "UFL Clasico" in a rare Wednesday night PFL kickoff at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Cebu, which temporarily calls the venue home as the new USC Stadium will only open its doors on June 3, drew first blood with a fourth minute strike from Dennis Villanueva.

Makati came close to tying three minutes later as Kenshiro Daniels appeared to have slotted a free kick in, but the referee prompted Daniels to retake the kick as he thought the wall was not properly established. Paul Mulders blocked Daniels' second try.

Sekou Sylla made it 2-0 Cebu with his strike in the 18th minute as the club held on to the lead the rest of the first half.

Makati, however, quickly stepped on the gas in the restart, and the club was almost rewarded as Jovin Bedic just went a little wide with his 50th minute attempt.

Makati finally got one back as Robert Mendy connected on a 55th minute penalty after the referee called a handball infraction on Wesley Dos Santos inside the box.

The club, however, went down to 10 men as Jalsor Soriano was called with a direct red card in the 78th minute for an apparent elbow on a Cebu player.

Cebu almost made Makati pay for it as Sylla found himself all alone against Zach Banzon five minutes after, but Sylla's shot went wide, keeping the door open for the road squad.

Makati got its golden chance to equalize as Mendy went one-on-one with Patrick Deyto in the 87th minute, but Mendy overshot the attempt as the ball went high above the post.

Shu Sasaki almost got into the scoreboard as he pulled off a beautiful flick on a one-on-one against Banzon, but the latter again got a sigh of relief as Sasaki's chip-in also went a bit off right.

Sylla finally sealed the win for Cebu just before stoppage time as he finally beat Banzon in a one-on-one affair and slotted the ball inside the now wide open goalmouth.

Cebu moves to solo second and stays unbeaten after three matches with two wins and one draw for seven points, two behind Meralco Manila's perfect nine.

Makati suffered its first loss and fell to third place.

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