Stephan Schröck scored in injury time to give Ceres-Negros FC a 1-0 away win over Kaya FC-Makati in the first leg of the Philippines Football League semi-finals yesterday at the University of Makati Stadium.
The next match is set on December 9 at the Panaad Stadium.
Yesterday's match proved to be tough for both squads as they aimed to get an advantage at the get-go. Ceres had the first chance to score when Iain Ramsay tried to curl a rebound towards the second post but the ball flashed wide.
Kaya had their opportunity in the 6 th minute off a free kick from the edge of the box but Jordan Mintah's attempt was way over the bar. Ceres responded with Bienvenido Maranon sending a through ball to Kevin Ingreso minutes later but the midfielder's shot failed to find its mark.
Going on attacking mode, Kaya had another chance on a wide run by Mintah resulting to a cross towards Jovin Bedic but Kota Kawase was there for the clearance.
As advertised, the duel between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the PFL was intense with Woody Ugarte of Kaya getting a yellow after a challenge on Ingreso in the first 20 minutes of play. Schrock made his move a couple of minutes later as beat two Kaya defenders in the wings but his shot went over.
Ceres-Negros had the best chance in the half when Ramsay tried a one-time volley from a delivery but Kaya's goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma did well with the reflex stop.
Miguel Tanton was given a yellow after a rash challenge but the Kaya engine man made amends with a long distance try in the last minute of regulation. Super Herrera made an injury time clearance before the referee whistled for the half time break.
A third yellow card for Kaya was given as Bedic after another rash challenge, this time on Schrock.
Ceres had twin chances in the 50th minute from Carlie de Murga after the veteran beat the offside trap before side-heeling a shot towards the goal but the ball bounced off the cross bar. De Murga followed up with a header but Cuaresma was there to tip the ball over for safety.
Minutes later, Schrock found Maranon with a pinpoint cross but the Spaniard's header was off target. Schrock took a chance from twenty-five yards but his shot curled wide.
Kaya came closest in the 88th minute when Mendy breezed past two Ceres defenders before unleashing a wicked shot in front of goal but his shot hit the underhand of the crossbar before bouncing back to the pitch.
In injury time, Schrock wiggled across the tough Kaya defense before curling in a left footed winner to give the Busmen the vital away win.*ceresfootball.com
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