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Nierras has mixed thoughts as Laguna advance to Copa semifinal

There was a mixed reactions on Ernest Nierras after Stallion Laguna progressed to the Copa semifinal. Kennelf Monteza/Dugout Philippines
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- Stallion Laguna gaffer Ernest Nierras was pleased that his side are already through to their first cup semifinal in three years after holding Davao Aguilas Bellmare to a goalless stalemate in their Copa tie on Wednesday.

"As a coach, you're okay. It feels good because we qualify," he plainly said at the post-match conference, in which they did the job with a match to spare. "We prepared for this match. We knew exactly what was gonna happen."

However, they had to pay a price for it, as his son Matthew had to be limped out just 12 minutes into their Group A tie on a suspected ACL tear.

Nierras, being a father he is, was clearly distraught at the timing of the injury, as he was all set to join the Azkals for the very first time in the upcoming Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh this week.

"Matthew [Nierras] got his first call-up to the Azkals. He was supposed to leave for Friday to Bangladesh," he said afterwards.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as his replacement Reynald Villareal held his fort the rest of the match which was just part one of his masterstroke in his substitutions.

"I'm really happy that Dodong [Villareal] was able to step in and fill Matthew's position," he added.

With their qualification secured, Nierras and company now turn their attention to their return fixture in their Biñan stable on October 17, their mission is simple and straightforward.

"We're gonna go all out, for sure. We don't want to travel to Iloilo." Nierras said, referring to the Group B leader Kaya Iloilo. "We want to have  a semifinal in Biñan." 

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