Kaya Iloilo and Ceres Negros share spoils off a heated rivalry

Kaya Ceres Philippines Football League

A heated rivalry lived up to its billing as Kaya Iloilo and Ceres Negros end up sharing the spoils off a hard-fought battle that ended in a 1-1 draw in Iloilo City.

The match began with visiting side Ceres Negros immediately testing the hosts’ defence as Takumi Uesato unleashed a shot inside the box from an angle, only for the ball to sail over the bar.

In the tenth minute, Ceres were awarded a corner kick, with Schrock’s dangerous ball in going close only for Kaya to manage to put the ball wide. The next corner attempt was then easily dealt with by the hosts.

Come the 12th minute, it was the hosts’ turn to enjoy a promising spell but Kaya Iloilo’s attackers’ tentativeness proved to be a wasted opportunity as a shot was not produced.

Another two minutes passed and Ceres’ Uesato was able to produce a well taken cross for Schrock whose aerial volley hit a Kaya defender.

Kaya was able to come up with their own threats into Ceres’ box but keeper Toni Doblas was there to meet and snatch the ball.

In the 20th minute, Ceres Negros were able to find the back of the net care of Uesato but it would turn out to be a false hope as the linesman raised his flag for offside even before the shot was made.

The game eventually settled for a bit as Ceres were able to get a bit more hold in controlling the proceedings with their possession play as they lower the pace and apply a more patient approach in the game.

A few moments after the half-hour mark the intensity was back in the game as Kaya Iloilo were able to unleash a solid attempt but was blocked by a defender. The follow-up shot went over the bar though.

In the 38th minute, Stephan Schrock went came closest in handing Ceres Negros the lead as he was able to carve out an attempt inside the box. However, his kick did not have enough contact with the ball to beat Kaya goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma.

A few more half chances arrived but a goal was not meant to be in the first part of the match as halftime arrived with both teams even.

Several moments after the second half resumed, the hosts were provided a chance to score as Giganto latches on to the ball but his attempt sailed wide of the goal.

In the 53rd minute the biggest chance for Ceres arrived as Martin Steuble was able to receive the ball at virtually point-blank range inside the box but he squandered the attempt by shooting it surprisingly over the bar.

Ceres were then awarded a free-kick just at the edge of the box. Stephan Schrock’s in-swinging ball failed to connect with an on-rushing Carli de Murga as the deadlock still remained.

In the 77th minute a delay of game ensued as Ceres staff and the officials had some discussions.

Two minutes later Omid Nazari received his marching orders after receiving his second bookable offence as Ceres Negros went down to ten men.

The ensuing disagreements and sending off made the match a bit more gritty and tensed than it already was.

In the 87th minute another freekick was awarded to the visitors with Schrock unleashing a direct attempt. But his dipping shot was well parried away by Kaya Iloilo’s stopper Cuaresma to safety.

It proved to be a warning signal though as as three minutes after, Ceres were ahead with Mike Ott breaking the deadlock after receiving a pass from Patrick Reichelt off a ball from OJ Porteria.

However the hosts will not let the lead last long as they refuse to relinquish their undefeated status at home in Iloilo as Shirmar Felongco pounced on a poor ball off a miscommunication between Junior Munoz and Toni Doblas to get that precious equaliser that put the Kaya Iloilo faithfuls to a roaring approval.

At the last throes of the match which was still very much in the balance, Kaya Iloilo could have notched the victory but Doblas came up massive with a double save as both teams settled for a draw to share the spoils.

The result maintained league leaders Ceres Negros’ six-point gap with chasers Kaya FC Iloilo.

Kaya Iloilo will next face Global Cebu in an away fixture on June 13 while Ceres Negros will host Global Cebu as well on June 16.