|Abou Sy celebrates after drawing first blood for Stallion Laguna. Mark Cristino/PFL|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—In an early shocker to the PFL season, Carlie De Murga dished out a bad pass to Roland Muller that led to a 28th minute own goal that put Ceres Negros on the verge of losing its season opener against Stallion Laguna at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
But for Laguna coach Ernie Nierras, the said own goal was a testament that his club's defense can test even the opposing side's mental toughness.
"It's because of pressuring. It's one thing that you always get from Stallion," he said after the game on Saturday night.
Eventually, a Bienve Marañon goal in the second half saved Negros and forced a 2-2 draw, but for Nierras, holding the defending champion is already a positive result.
"It feels good," he continued. "We were able to prevent Ceres from scoring quick."
He even lauded Abou Sy, who scored the opening goal of the match in the sixth minute, for showing up.
"It would have been better if Abou scored that last attempt," Nierras further said regarding Sy's missed game-winner at the death that could have put an exclamation point to his performance.
He then vowed that his team will still show that defensive intensity on Wednesday, when it hosts Kaya Iloilo at the Biñan Football Stadium.
"We're not gonna change how we play. We are who we are," Nierras concluded.
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