|Carlie De Murga and Jeffrey Christaens join Martin Steuble in celebrating after the latter scored a goal deep into the right wing. Mark Cristino/PFL|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—An early Goal of the Season candidate happened right on opening night of the Philippines Football League when Ceres Negros skipper Martin Steuble fired a 25th minute goal from a very tough angle at the right wing.
While it was a delight for the Ceres Negros fans who flocked the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, some others thought it was a pass gone wrong but still enough to surprise Stallion Laguna keeper Patrick Deyto.
But according to Steuble himself, he intended to make that shot from that spot.
"I wanted to get the ball in," Steuble said. "I was trying to get it into the goal but with the chance that someone's gonna touch it. But I saw Deyto is a bit in front, so I just tried my luck."
As it turned out, it was a great moment in what was otherwise a far-from-great performance for the defending champion.
Three minutes after the spectacular goal, the club committed a huge blunder as Carlie De Murga's intended back pass to Roland Muller went way past him and into his goal to put Laguna, which already got an earned goal through Abou Sy's seventh minute attack, ahead again, 2-1.
Only a 53rd minute header from Bienve Marañon saved Negros' cause and forced a 2-2 draw.
"It was a tough game for us. Stallion did a great job. They followed the game plan really well and we couldn't really respond. The mistake is that we weren't at our top [form]," Steuble continued.
Good thing for Negros, it has a quick shot at redemption as it will welcome Air Force back into top flight football on Wednesday night at the said venue.
"The nice thing in football is that on Wednesday, we have another chance to bounce back, and we will do so," Steuble added.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno