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Hometown boy Felongco saves Iloilo's blushes to draw with 10-man Negros

Calinog born and bred Shirmar Felongco rose to the occasion to force a stalemate with champions Ceres Negros. Don Laczi/Kaya Iloilo
By Jaimer Dela Cruz

ILOILO -- A very physical game from the get go, the Western Visayas rivalry in the PFL ended at a stalemate after the heroics of Shirmar Felongco two minutes before the end of the game in Iloilo Sports Complex as Kaya Iloilo and Ceres Negros battled to a 1-1 stalemate tonight. 

With their five-game unbeaten streak on the line, Ceres-Negros kicked off the game with a long-range attempt from Junior Munoz on the fifth minute of the match but was met easily by Ref Cuaresma. Two minutes after that attempt, they won a free kick which was taken by Stephan Schrock but was then parried by Cuaresma.

On the 12th minute of the match, Iloilo then pushed for the counter but all of their attempts were defended well by the busmen. Schrock tried to score a majestic goal through a bicycle kick on the 15th minute but was then cleared out by Masanari Omura.

As the men in black held the ball well, Iloilo took every chance they have on the counter once they got the ball in midfield. On the 36th minute, Shirmar Felongco tried from distance but was blocked by Munoz. It was then matched by a header from Schrock five minutes before the end of the first half but was cleared out by Janrick Soriano.

Towards the end of the first half, tensions flared up as Omid Nazari was booked for kicking Felongco at the backs of his legs. Iloilo skipper Jovin Bedic stepped up for his comrade which got him in a yellow card as well.

The second half got on a dangerous start for the men in yellow as Felongco tripped Schrock on the edge of the box. Schrock then delivered the ball inside the box but his effort sailed wide. It was Negros who held the ball most of the times in the game.

Things really got heated up on the 79th minute as Nazari was given his marching orders by referee Clifford Daypuyat on a second bookable offence after kicking Felongco again on his stomach that reduced Negros to 10 men after that sequence.

Despite the disadvantage, the Busmen broke the deadlock in the 86th minute as Patrick Reichelt delivered a lovely through ball for Mike Ott who tapped the ball in past Cuaresma.

After just two minutes from the opening goal, Iloilo was sent to an ecstasy centre-half Michael Menzi delivered a long pass to Felongco which was met by Munoz who chested it towards Toni Doblas but the Calinog native intercepted it before slotting the equalizer in to the delight of the home fans.

In the end, both clubs settles for a point which keeps the six-point gap between them at the top of the table. Iloilo will now face Global-Cebu away from home next week while Negros will host Cebu at home three days after their encounter with Kaya.

Follow him on Twitter: @jaimer0709