Tag Archives: Ceres Negros

Kaya, Ceres Share Spoils in Opening PFL Match

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Kaya FC Makati claimed a vital point in their opening Philippines Football League match against fancied Ceres Negros FC yesterday at the University of Makati Stadium.

Former Ceres midfielder Marwin Angeles tormented his former club with a 68th minute equalizer cancelling out Iain Ramsay’s 45th minute opener.

The first chance of the match came from Kaya in the 26th minute when Kenshiro Daniels took a free kick from distance but it sailed wide.

At the stroke of half-time, Ramsay finally found the back of the net. The winger was on the end of a Ceres counter-attack, and slotted it in past Zach Banson to put the Negros side 1-0 up at the half.

But it was Kaya that grew in confidence in the second half. A chance for Jovin Bedic in the 59th minute was just off target after Louie Casas went off his line.

Ceres new signing Omid Nazari almost made it 2-0 in the 61st minute. The winger’s free kick hit the underside of the bar and looked like it went in but was left unnoticed by the referee.

Kaya’s resilience allowed them to find the equalizer with 20 minutes left. Angeles, who came on in the 65th minute, fired from inside the box after a goalmouth scramble in the Ceres box.

Ceres almost came away with the three points late in the match, but Daniels made a crucial goalline clearance to preserve the 1-1 scoreline.

Kaya coach Noel Marcaida and Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic provided contrasting insights in the draw. While Marcaida viewed the result as a morale booster, Vidakovic criticized the state of the UMak field.

“(It was) a crucial point in our first PFL match,” said Marcaida in Filipino. “It gave us the morale we need going through the League.”

“I’m satisfied with the draw because with this kind of field, we really can’t play football,” said Vidakovic. “We had a very hard game before and for us to come here and and play in the pitch can be dangerous for the players also.”

Kaya’s next assigment will be against Global Cebu FC on Sunday, May 14 at a venue to be announced. Meanwhile, Ceres will host Stallion Laguna FC on Saturday, May 13 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. — CAL

Ceres in a Must-Win Against Tampines

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Ceres Negros FC braces for a virtual knockout match in the AFC Cup against Singaporean side Tampines Rovers tonight at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The Negros side revived their AFC Cup campaign with a 6-2 shellacking of Hanoi FC last month to put them back at the top of Group G with eight points. However, with Hanoi playing Felda United in the other group match, Ceres needs to collect maximum to points to qualify to the ASEAN zonal semifinals.

“Both teams are motivated,” said Ceres mentor Risto Vidakovic. “It will be a tough game and I expect my team to give everything and the result, we’ll never know. Anything can happen,”

Tampines were given a rude welcome by the Negros side in their first meeting last March. Ceres opened the floodgates in a 5-0 win which saw Iain Ramsay score his first goal for the club in the very first minute of the match.

“The game in Bacolod was something special,” said Ceres captain Martin Steuble. “I think the match will be a different situation, a different stadium. Tampines is very strong at home they are hard to beat.”

The stakes are higher this time around. All four teams in the group are separated by three points and any result that goes away from Ceres might prove fatal to their campaign.

“We have to win to qualify for the next round, lose we’re out,” added Vidakovic. “We will fight for the win. Tampines will also do the same.”

Kick off is at 7:30 PM and will be shown live on Fox Sports 3. — CAL

Ceres Back in the Hunt After Humbling Hanoi

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On a humid summer night, Ceres Negros FC let it rain over Vietnamese side Hanoi FC, thrashing them, 6-2, in front of a capacity crowd at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

Bienvenido Maranon, Kevin Ingreso, Fernando Rodriguez, and Jason De Jong put on a performance to remember for the Negros side. The win allowed Ceres to move back to the top of Group G with eight points, level with Hanoi but with a better head-to-head record. In the other group match, Felda United fell at the hands of Tampines Rovers, 1-3.

Heading into the match, Ceres needed to take maximum points to keep their chances of qualifying to the zonal semifinals alive. Any dropped points would have been disastrous for the club.

Maranon kickstarted the party with a 13th minute penalty kick. Kevin Ingreso doubled the advantage in the 21st minute after a powerful shot on goal.

Hanoi pulled one back from a Phan Thanh Luong free kick in the 25th minute to give the visitors a lifeline. Ceres had a 2-1 lead at the half.

The second half saw the Negros squad looking to kill off their opponents with their blistering pace in attack. Rodriguez made it 3-1 in the 51st minute with a looping effort over the keeper and into the top corner.

Tempers flared at the hour mark. Hanoi substitute Hoang Vu Samson was given a straight red card for violent conduct.

Ceres netted their fourth goal in the 69th minute from an unlikely source. Hanoi defender Alvaro Silva turned the ball into his own net as Rodriguez was about to take the shot.

Hanoi claimed some pride late on as Do Hung Dung scored from the spot in the 86th minute. However, de Jong and Maranon scored a goal each to cap off a memorable display in front of their home fans.

Ceres will finish their group stage campaign against Tampines Rovers on May 3 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore. — CAL

Ceres Seek AFC Cup Redemption Against Hanoi

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In a bid to keep their AFC Cup campaign alive, Ceres Negros FC face Hanoi FC in a crucial group G match tonight at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

The Negros side suffered a painful 3-0 defeat at the hands of Malaysian side Felda United last week, and are now in a dangerous situation of missing a spot to the zonal semifinals.

Ceres currently sit in third place, level on points with Felda at five points, but the Malaysian side have a better head-to-head record. Only the group winner and the best second placed team at the end of the group stage will advance to the next round. Hanoi, on the other hand, have eight points because of two wins and two draws.

One of those draws came at the hands of Ceres when the two teams met in a 1-1 draw last February 21. Bienvenido Maranon sent the Negros side ahead in the 49th minute but that was cancelled out by Nguyen van Quyet eight minutes later.

Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic expects his team to bounce back after the shock defeat against Felda. Manny Ott returns to the squad after serving his suspension. However, Martin Steuble will miss the match after accumulating two yellow cards.

“My expectations from the players is that they give their 100 percent,” said Vidakovic. “There are no other options. We have to win the game if we want to advance. I just want the team to compete for 90 minutes and try to reach the result we need.”

Iain Ramsay echoed his coach’s statements and is keen for redemption and to stay in the tournament. The midfielder had not seen the back of the net since his 30-second opener against Tampines Rovers last March 3.

“We only want to make amends for that result,” said Ramsay. “We drew them away from home last time. We’ll give everything against Hanoi.”

Kick off for the match is at 7:30 PM and it will be shown live on Fox Sports 2. — CAL

Ceres Misfire in Scoreless Draw with Felda

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Ceres Negros FC dropped two crucial points after a scoreless draw against Malaysian side Felda United in the AFC Cup last night at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Goalkeeper Roland Muller was the Bacolod side’s savior with a penalty save at the hour mark to keep Ceres in the hunt for a spot to the next round. Ceres are currently at the top of Group G with five points, level with Hanoi FC, who defeated Tampines Rovers, 4-0, in the other group match.

Almost 9,000 people were in attendance to witness the match. However, a repeat of the massive win over Tampines was not meant to be as the home side were left frustrated by their lack of finishing.

Manuel Herrera almost had it in the 10th minute, the Spaniard was at the end of a Manny Ott corner, but could only divert his header wide.

The game went on with both sides left frustrated by their questionable finishing, and by the 60th minute, disaster struck for Ceres.

A clumsy challenge from Carli de Murga on Norshahrul Idlan inside the Ceres box left the referee with no choice but to award the penalty to the visitors. Lucas Cano stepped up to take the penalty, but Muller was equal to it, diving to his right to preserve the scoreline. Both teams settled in the latter stages of the match to collect a solitary point.

The two sides will meet again on April 4, at the Shah Alam Stadium. — CAL

Ceres Eye Second AFC Cup Win

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Ceres Negros FC gun for another win in the AFC Cup, this time against Malaysian side Felda United in front of an expected sell out crowd tonight at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

Ceres are coming off a dominating 5-0 win over Tampines Rovers to go on top of Group F. Bienvenido Marañon netted a brace, while Iain Ramsay, Manny Ott, and Fernando Rodriguez added in to the goals.

However, Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic does not expect the same performance against the Malaysian side. Felda United are at the bottom of the group with a single point after drawing Hanoi FC, 1-1, last week.

“(The game against Tampines) is finished. We have a different opponent, for me much better, more organized,” said Vidakovic. “It will not be easy to beat them but I hope the players will be ready to try to win the game”

Once again, the boisterous home crowd will be a crucial factor in the match. The Local Organizing Committee have allotted more than 8,000 tickets for the match, all of which were sold out days leading to the match.

“We are really looking forward for this game,” said Ceres goalkeeper Roland Muller. “Hoping once again for the home support like the last game.”

The match kicks off at 7:30 PM and it will be shown LIVE on FOX Sports. — CAL

Ceres Negros Pull Off Record AFC Cup Win Over Tampines Rovers

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Ceres Negros FC had a memorable performance in the AFC Cup, demolishing Singaporean side Tampines Rovers 5-nil last night at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

Binevenido Maranon scored a brace while Iain Ramsay, Manny Ott, and Fernando Rodriguez contributed in the emphatic beatdown of Tampines Rovers. The win lifted Ceres to the top of Group G with four points after Felda United and Hanoi FC battled to a 1-1 draw in the other group match.

New signing Ramsay introduced himself to the adoring hometown crowd with an opening minute scorcher that set the tone of the match. The winger unleashed a curling shot from just outside the box that curled past Tampines stopper Izwan Mahbud.

Maranon added a second in the 24th minute. Tampines’ defense broke down after Mahbud rushed way off his line to try and get to the ball, allowing the Spaniard to score on a wide open goal.

Ott capitalized on another poor choice by the Tampines defense and widened the lead in the 38th minute. The midfielder was given enough space to rifle a shot from just the edge of the box, hitting the underside of the bar and in. Ceres held a comfortable 3-0 lead at the half.

Tampines finally looked settled in the first 15 minutes in the second half. However, it did not take Ceres long to score their fourth goal of the night. Maranon was released by a Ramsay long ball, and was through on goal to make a chipped shot past Mahbud. It was the Spanish winger’s third goal of the tournament after scoring in the draw against Hanoi two weeks ago.

Rodriguez also did not disappoint in his home debut for the club by scoring the final goal in the 72nd minute. A combination play between Ott and Jeffrey Christians allowed the Spanish striker to convert from close range to cap off a memorable night for the Negros side.

Ceres return to Panaad Stadium next week, March 15. The Negros side will take on Malaysia’s Felda United which are currently at the bottom of the table with a solitary point. — CAL

Ceres Makes Home Debut Against Tampines

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Ceres Negros FC are set to play their first home match in the AFC Cup as they face a familiar foe in Tampines Rovers FC tonight, 7:30 PM at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

Ceres began their AFC Cup Group G campaign with a 1-1 draw against Hanoi FC last February 21 at the My Dinh Stadium. Bienvenido Maranon was on target for the Negrense side in the draw. Ceres are currently in second place, tied with Hanoi with a point each.

The match against Tampines is the first of a two game home swing for Ceres. Felda United await the Negros side next week, March 15.

However, unlike the other teams in the group, Ceres, with its star-laden squad, will only play in their second competitive game of the season. The lack of domestic competition has proved to be challenging for the side with the Philippines Football League set to start by the end of April.

“It’s hard to prepare because we don’t have any (domestic) competition,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic. “The other teams have the advantage having played more competitions while we have only played in AFC Cup.”

Still, the chance to host the match at the Panaad Stadium, in front of the hometown fans, is motivation enough for the club to get a win.

“The motivation, home stadium is very important,” said Vidakovic.

Their opponents, Tampines Rovers, began their league campaign two weeks ago and are currently in fifth place in the S.League. This will be the third meeting between the two sides in the AFC Cup group stage after a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 Ceres win last year. Tampines are currently Group G leaders after their 2-1 win over Felda United two week ago.

Ceres goalkeeper Michael Casas cherished the two matches against Tampines Rovers, but insisted that it’s time to face a new challenge.

“Playing against Tampines last year was great for us, but that’s in the past already,” Casas said. “We need to move forward now.”

Tampines, which finished as quarterfinalists last year, have changed their coach since their AFC Champions League playoff clash with Global last January. Jurgen Raab is the new coach for Tampines replacing Akbar Nawas, who left the club after the defeat to Global. Singapore international Khairul Amri is expected to lead the line in attack.

Midfielder Son Yong Chan also makes his return to Bacolod to face his former club. The Korean, who won the 2015 United Football League with Ceres, joined Tampines during the offseason and has been a constant threat for his side.

The match will be shown live on Fox Sports and at 7:00 PM. — CAL

PFL: What We Know So Far

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Philippine club football is set to reach greater heights this year. Global FC, by virtue of winning the UFL League and the Cup last season, are set to be the first Philippine club to participate in the AFC Champions League preliminary stage while Ceres-Negros FC gained a direct berth into the AFC Cup group stage.

Aside from participation in AFC club competitions, the Philippine Football Federation is set to launch the much awaited Philippines Football League by April of this year. The following is what we currently know about the League at the moment.

1. It will be a professional League

Announced last September 2016, the PFL will be a professional, national league where clubs play against each other in a home-and-away league format.

“The league we will form is a professional league, with professional club and professional players,” said Atty. Edwin Gastanes last September.

Pursuant to AFC’s regulations, Gastanes stressed that a minimum of six clubs is required to be recognized as a national league. The PFF initially pegged the deadline on December 31, 2016 but has since been extended it to accommodate other teams interested to join.

“We can’t have a national league, professional league if we don’t have at least six teams,” added Gastanes.

The PFL being a “professional” league also means that all players and employees shall be able to rely on football as a living — no more part-time players. Additionally, all club and player contracts and other monetary deals will be better structured and monitored.

2. Ten teams have applied for the League

According to a case study by AC Nielsen in 2015, 14 cities/provinces were identified as possible home bases for clubs: Manila, Makati, Quezon City, Marikina, Pampanga, Sta. Maria and Bocaue, Bulacan, Laguna, Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.

As of January 20, 2017, 10 teams have submitted their license applications to the PFF. Clubs are required to meet several criteria to get a license. The criteria, which is based on AFC’s stringent Club Licensing Regulations are the following: sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal, financial, and club identity.

Global, Ceres, Loyola, Kaya, and Stallion were the first five teams to submit their applications to the PFF and have already chosen home cities or provinces. Global, renamed Global Queen City FC, will play their games in Cebu. Ceres-Negros FC is set to use the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod for their home games as well as their AFC Cup matches. Kaya-Makati have recently announced that the University of Makati will be their home field. Stallion Laguna tapped the Binan Football Stadium in Laguna last year and have been using the facilities ever since. Loyola is set to use the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig City.

By the end of 2016, PFF President Mariano Araneta said that 90% of the teams had already confirmed their participation in the PFL. The PFF President announced then that JP Voltes FC had submitted their application for the PFL. Green Archers United became the seventh team on board after announcing on social media that they had sent in their application before the Christmas break.

Last week, the number of applicant clubs reached ten. TV5’s Erel Cabatbat reported that three more clubs had expressed their intention to join the PFL. According to Cabatbat’s report, teams from Davao, Ilocos Sur, and an unnamed tenth team “have expressed their intentions in joining the league.” Cabatbat also quoted Gastanes saying that the PFF will formally finalize the participating teams by February 2017.

3. There will be a League and possibly a Cup competition

During the September press conference, the PFF also announced that the tournament format of the PFL will be a modified home-and-away league type. It will follow the format similar to Australia’s Hyundai A-League where teams play in a home-and-away double round robin league followed by a play-off championship series.

Gastanes also said in September’s press meet, that a national cup competition is also in the works to complement the league. An incentive to the clubs joining the PFL is that the champions of the League can be nominated to play in next year’s AFC Champions League or AFC Cup. Previously the champions of the UFL League and UFL Cup gained spots in AFC’s club competitions.

However, should a club become eligible to play in AFC’s club competitions, they should also adhere to AFC’s rules and regulations. One such requirement for a club to participate in the AFC Champions League, for example, is that they must play a minimum of 27 matches and that the duration of the national top division should run for at least eight months.

The final season of the UFL saw the champion team, Global, play a total of 27 matches (19 League matches and 8 UFL Cup matches) in a span of nine months to meet one of the criteria to play in the AFC Champions League.

With only a few months left before the launch of the League, expect the PFF and the clubs to unveil more information as the Philippine football community braces for its first professional, national football league. — CAL


1. Philippine Football Federation. (2016). Club Licensing Regulations for Philippines Football League. Retrieved from http://pff.org.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/PFL-Club-Licesing-2016.pdf
2. Cabatbat, Erel. (2017, January 9). 9 teams–PFF secretary general Atty. Ed Gastanes reveals at least nine teams have signified their intentions to join the Philippines Football League this coming March. [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/BPB7dbNgTig/
3. Cabatbat, Erel. (2017, January 17). 10th team–Philippine Football Federation secretary-general Atty. Edwin Gastanes says they have already relayed all the requirements needed to a party that expressed its intention in joining the Philippines Football League. [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/BPWUlrAgLta/
4. Asian Football Confederation. (2016). Entry Manual – AFC Club Competitions 2017-2020. Retrieved from the-afc.com/uploads/afc/files/entry_manual_entry_manual_for_afc_club_competitions_2017-2020_09112016.pdf

Global, Ceres to Rep Philippine Club Football in 2017 AFC Club Competitions

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Philippine club football takes a huge step forward as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed that the Philippines will have at least two representatives in next year’s AFC club competitions.

Global FC created history by becoming the first Filipino club to participate in the AFC Champions League preliminary round. The AFC Champions League is Asia’s top-tier club competition and is headlined by several teams from Australia, China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

“It’s a huge privilege and responsibility to represent the Philippines at the highest level of (Asian) club competition,” said Global Chief Executive Dan Palami, who has seen his side claim a series of firsts. Global were the first team to participate in both the defunct AFC President’s Cup and the AFC Cup in the past.

Global qualified to the AFC Champions League as UFL League champions. They will face a familiar foe in Singapore’s Tampines Rovers FC in the AFC Champions League first preliminary round on January 24.

Should Global advance to the next round, they will face A-League side Brisbane Roar in Australia on January 31. The play-off match against China’s Shanghai Shenhua is set for February 7 and will determine who will join Japan’s Kashima Antlers, Thailand’s Muangthong United, and the winner of the another play-off tie in Group E.

“Being the first club in the Philippines to be actually competing at this level, we have to absorb the birth pains that a first timer would have to go thru,” added Palami. “Hopefully those that will represent the country in the future, hopefully ourselves as well, will learn a lot from (the tournament).”

In the event that Global fails to qualify for the AFC Champions League, they will join Ceres-Negros FC in the AFC Cup. Ceres qualified to the AFC Cup as the second placed team in the League after Global also won the UFL Cup last April. Originally, the League champions and the Cup winners earn a spot in the AFC Cup.

The AFC Cup will have an updated format for next year with five zones allocated to each region, West Asia Zone, Central Asia Zone, South Asia Zone, East Asia Zone, and the ASEAN Zone. Both Global and Ceres are in the ASEAN Zone. The AFC Cup kicks off on February 2017.

Global are provisionally in Group F with Malaysian powerhouse Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (or Kedah FA), Myanmar’s Magwe FC, and either Cambodia’s Boueng Ket Angkor FC or Laos’ Lao Toyota FC. Loyola Meralco Sparks FC will take Global’s place in the AFC Cup group stage if Global goes all the way to the Champions League group stages.

Ceres are in Group G and will play Vietnam’s Hanoi T&T FC (or SHB Da Nang FC), Malaysia’s Felda United FC, and Singapore’s Tampines Rovers (or Geylang International FC). — CAL

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