Ceres-Negros came from two goals down last night to produce a 4-3 victory over Stallion Laguna and set up a Nov. 16 Final clash against Kaya – Iloilo in the 2019 Copa Paulino Alcantara at the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna.
Stephan Schrock and Mike Ott each scored a brace for the Busmen while Edris-Nasser Najim, Abou Sy, and Jan Melliza scored apiece for Stallion.
“We are so very happy with the result,” said Assitant Coach Ian Treyes. “Two down but we came back with the 2-0 win. We played our best in the second half and each one, especially Schrocky, gave their 100 percent.”
Stallion Laguna struck first in the 9th minutes after midfielder Edris-Nasser Najim hit a left footed shot from outside the box. The Laguna squad doubled the lead six minutes later when Abou Sy capitalized on a sloppy Ceres defense.
The Busmen found the back of the net in 18th minute when Schrock’s attempt bounced off a defender to make it 2-1. The league champions scored again to tie the game at 2-2 before the hour mark when Ott redirected a Junior Munoz cross.
Stallion had the final two chances in the half from Nate Alquiros and Abou but both targets were off.
The Laguna team started the half well as substitute Fitch Arboleda came up with a strike from outside but Ceres goalkeeper Jun Badelic was there to frustrate him.
Both teams had golden opportunities in the 67th minute but Arboleda and Dylan De Bruycker of Ceres were not able to convert from inside the box.
The Busmen finally took the lead in 69th minute when Schrock converted a free ball. Lopez Mendy went down on the challenge but the Ceres captain played on to score the go-ahead goal.
Ceres-Negros made it four in the 77th minute when James Younghusband’s cross bounced in front of the goal an into Mike Ott, who completed a brace.
Stallion pulled one back five minutes from time when Melliza finished past Badelic on the counter. Abou cleverly drew a defender before switching past a free Melliza to make the final minutes interesting.
“It was real cup fight. From two-nil down, we went four-two up. A little bit shaky in the end but overall everybody stepped up during this competition and everybody is proud of what we’ve achieved,” said Schrock.*ceresfootball.com
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