Bacolod City-based Ceres FC solidify their presence in the United Football League by topping their bracket with nine points and advance to the Round of 16 of the UFL Cup.
Bouncing back from a shocking 1-0 defeat in the hands Philippine Army on Oct. 26, Ceres beat Pachanga Diliman 2-1 on Tuesday to secure the No. 1 spot in their bracket. Pachanga also booked a seat in the Round of 16 along with Manila Jeepney with an identical seven points.
With convincing victories against Manila Jeepney, Lao, and Pachanga, the Ceres booters have established their position in the league as one of the strong contenders for the championship.
Against Pachanga, Ceres starting lineup was composed of Antony Hanesin, Beloya Joshua, Hyoun Jae, Marasigan Angelo, Okunaiya Oladipo, Panhay Jayson, Park Guen, Sim Hyung, Soriano Jalsor, Tacusalme Carlo, Yoon Byeong
In taming Pachanga, Jin Ho Kim broke through the defense for Ceres' first goal in the 34 th minute. Seven minutes later, substitue Jalsor Soriano, scored an impressive lob that was beyond the reach of Pachanga's keeper for the Bacoleños second goal.
Two minutes before halftime, Ariel Zerrudo Jr. of Pachanga outplayed Ceres defenders and beat goalkeeper Hyoun Hae Jun to put his team one point behind at 2-1.
Pachanga went on an attacking mode in the second half to even the score but Ceres' defense held strong as they managed to protect their one goal lead until the final whistle.
Joining Ceres, Pachanga, and Manila Jeepney in the Round of 16 are the top three teams from Brackets B to E and the best fourth placer among the five groups.
Qualifiers in Bracket B are: Kaya FC, Union Internacional Manila, and
Cimarron FC; Bracket C - Cebu Queen City United, Philippine Air Force, and Stallion FC; Bracket D - Global FC, Forza FC, and General Trias International FC; and Bracket E - Green Archers, Loyola FC, and Navy FC.
Earning four points in Bracket A with their stunning victory over Ceres, the Philippine Army will most likely secure the 16 th spot and advance into the next round.*NAB
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