Ceres-Negros FC is only a game away in claiming its third straight title in the Philippines Football League (PFL) after defeated Green Archers United 2-1 last October 2nd at the Abotiz Field in Lipa, Batangas.
Robert Lopez Mendy and OJ Porteria scored for the Busmen with the former punch his goal at the 2nd minute while the latter added in the 76th minute.
John Celiz pulls back for Green Archers United in the 71st minute.
“We know that we’re three points away from winning the championship, but that’s not really our mentality right now,” said Porteria via Inquirer.net. “Our goal is to play each game, win and stay undefeated up to the end of the season.”
The Busmen need only another three points in their remaining games to clinch the 2019 PFL title after close rival Kaya Iloilo suffered a goalless draw result against Mendiola FC 1991, earlier in the day thus putting the Iloilo based squad title hopes in peril.
“Green Archers made it difficult for us,” Porteria added on facing Green Archers United.
Ceres-Negros remained on the top of the PFL table with 53 points. Kaya Iloilo and Stallion Laguna occupied the second and third spots in the table with 44 and 36 points respectively.
Green Archers United remained at fourth place with 29 points after earning a full point in a 1-0 win over Mendiola FC 1991 last October 7th at Aboitiz Field in Lipa, Batangas.
Mendiola FC 1991 still occupied the fifth spot with 17 points while Philippine Air Force (11 points) and Global Cebu FC( seven points) occupied the sixth and seventh spots respectively.
Azkals management targets Neil Etheridge return versus China
The Philippine Azkals management target the return of the main goalkeeper Neil Etheridge with the national team will battle the world’s number 68th China in the resumption of join 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on October 15th at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
According to the report of Cedelf Tupas of Inquirer.net, Etheridge is already recovered from a hamstring injury which causes him to miss the Azkals’ first two assignments of the qualifiers against Syria and Guam.
During Cardiff City’s goalkeeper absence, the Azkals relied on their two other goalkeepers in Patrick Deyto and Michael Falkesgaard to patrol the post.
The Azkals splits their first two assignments in losing against Syria, 5-2 last September 5th at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City but quickly recover in overwhelming Guam, 4-1, five days later at Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo, Guam.
A four-way logjam for Group A leadership was seen after the first round of the qualifiers with the Azkals, Syria, China, and the Maldives have three points each to their names.
Team manager Dan Palami also bared a clearance was already given to Azkals prospect and defender Elias Mordal to play for the team while they are already processing the clearance to another prospect Michael Kempter. He hopes the clearance will be given by November in time of the third round of the qualifiers.
“He (Mordal) definitely gives us added options in defense,” said Palami via Inquirer.net in explaining the 21-year-old roots in Cebu but adopted by a Norwegian couple, just like the case of Simeon Rota which was adopted by Italian couple after he was left in a convent in Paranaque City by his biological mother and played for the Azkals until 2018.
Mordal is currently playing for Norwegian club Brattvag while Kempter currently belongs to the U-21 squad of FC Zurich.
China according to the report of Tupas is expected to bring their main players as they face the Azkals with coach Marcello Lippi will enlist naturalized striker Elkeson, the first non-Chinese to play for the China national team and currently playing for Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League and Wu Lei, who is currently connected with Spanish club Espanyol.
Before facing the Azkals, China will battle Guam at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou, China on October 10th.