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Sports

Ceres XI repeats vs Global, keeps title

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Ceres-University of St. La Salle Bacolod shut out Global FC, 1-0, to complete its shock upset of the Azkals-bannered club and crown itself back-to-back champion of the PFF-Smart National Club Championship at the Panaad pitch in Bacolod City.

Sub J Baguioro delivered the marginal goal and Ceres’ rocksolid defense held the usually high-scoring Global at bay as the Negros Occidental club followed up its 2-1 victory in the first leg en route to the diadem and P100,000 top prize.

With the match heading to a scoreless draw, Baguioro came off the bench and unloaded a brilliant rocket past Global goalie Dely Roland Sadia on the 84th minute to break the deadlock and the hearts of the Dan Palami-managed side while extending Ceres’ reign to a second year.

When the final whistle was blown, Baguioro and the rest of the Ceres players among them Joshua Beloya, Jayson Panhay, Yung Byeong Jun, Okunaiya Oladipo, Sim Hyung Min and Jalsor Soriano, who one way or the other scored goals the whole campaign, and the rest of the coaching staff celebrated frantically on the field.

And Ceres did it with defense and heart.

Ranged against a powerhouse United Football League composed of a lethal mix of foreign players and Azkals standouts, Ceres leaned on its defense and, for the second straight match, took Global, representing typhoon-ravaged Leyte Football Association, out of its comfort zone.

Coming into the series as the underdog despite being the defending champion, Ceres drubbed Global, 2-1, buoyed by Beloya’s second half brilliance last Thursday to the delight of the host Negros Occidental FA crowd.

Ceres was as determined in the decisive match as it shut down the once mighty Global attack for the first time in this 11-day tournament bankrolled by Smart and sanctioned by the PFF to cap its spectacular campaign.

Global, composed of Azkals standouts Angel Guirado, Jeffrey Christiaens, Marwin Angeles, Jason de Jong and Misagh Bahadoran and reinforcements Rufo Sanchez and Izzo Elhabib, was nowhere near its deadly form in the finals after going 47 goals and conceding just one in the group stages and semifinals.

ANGEL GUIRADO AZKALS BACOLOD CITY BAGUIORO CERES CERES-UNIVERSITY OF ST. LA SALLE BACOLOD DAN PALAMI DELY ROLAND SADIA GLOBAL JAYSON PANHAY NEGROS OCCIDENTAL
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