PFL: Top spot in sight as Ceres show Meralco no mercy

Ceres-Negros have their sights firmly set on top spot in the Philippines Football League after ruthlessly recording a 6-0 win over leaders Meralco Manila.

by Gabriel Tan

Bienvenido Maranon got Ceres on their way at the Panaad Park and Stadium in the 22nd minute, finding space outside the area and firing away a speculative effort that nestled into the bottom corner.

The hosts made it 2-0 six minutes later when Meralco’s failure to clear their lines from a corner saw Carli de Murga divert a low drive from OJ Porteria past Nathanael Villanueva.

Right on the half-hour mark, more inept defending from the visitors allowed Fernando Rodriguez to pounce on a loose ball inside the box and send an acrobatic effort on the turn into the back of the net.

By the time Rodriguez struck again six minutes later, as he was left unmarked to finish Porteria’s deflected cross at the back post, the contest was already well and truly over.

But Ceres refused to take their foot off the pedal and Rodriguez completed his hat-trick nine minutes into the second half after being set up by an unselfish Iain Ramsay, before Maranon added a sixth in the 67th minute to seal an emphatic win for his side.

The result means the Busmen are now just three points behind Meralco in second spot but have three games in hand, and it looks like it would take some stopping to prevent them from finishing top in the inaugural season of the PFL.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s other game saw Gabriele Mascazzini and Fitch Arboleda net in the second half to help Stallion Laguna to a 2-0 win over Davao Aguilas.

Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC

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