The third season of the reboot Philippines Football League (PFL) officially kickoff last May 25th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Reigning champion Ceres-Negros started their campaign in a draw against Stallion Laguna, 2-2 with Martin Steuble and Bienvenido Maranon fired a goal each for the Busmen during the 24th and 52th minute while an own goal of Carli de Murga in the 28th minute and goal from Abou Sy during the 6th minute are the reason Stallion Laguna was afloat, resulting both clubs earning a point each.
“Maybe we underestimated Stallion,” said Ceres-Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic via Inquirer.net. “Maybe it was too difficult to motivate the players with the AFC Cup (two weeks ago) and now playing in the [domestic] league.”
The Serbian coach added his team doesn’t deserve to win the game since they played their ” worst game of the year.”
“I think Stallion deserved to win because we played our worst game this year,” Vidakovic added in the same Inquirer.net article. “We gave them two goals at the beginning and it was really hard because the pitch is too slow. It’s hard to play fast and to create space.”
The Busmen quickly recover to the next game courtesy of 5-0 shutout to Philippine Air Force with Maranon had a hat-trick after firing goals in 14th, 76th and 82nd minute while Curt Dizon had a brace courtesy of goals during the 52nd and 80th minute.
Another victory was tallied for Ceres-Negros, thanks to an 8-0 drubbing of Global-Cebu with Maranon scored four goals (9th, 13th, 33rd, and 81st), Mahir Karic achieved a brace thanks to goals registered during the 79th and 85th minute.
Mike Ott penalty kick found the back of the net in the 45th minute and Jeffrey Christiaens goal in the 87th minute served as the icing on the cake for the Busmen.
Ceres-Negros is now in the top of the table with seven points so far in the young PFL season.
Placing second in the standings is Kaya Iloilo with six points after picking up a victory against debuting Green Archers United, 4-0 with Jordan Mintah’s hat-trick ( 2nd, 18th and 44th minute) and a goal from Jayson Panhay in the 58th minute propelled the Iloilo-based team.
“We’re coming from a loss in the AFC Cup, and now this is the start of a new league and what I hope will be the start of a new winning streak for Kaya,” said Kaya Iloilo captain Jovin Bedic via Inquirer.net as the team’s painful exit from the AFC Cup is still fresh on their mind.
Kaya Iloilo adds Stallion Laguna to their victims, thanks to a 2-0 decision with Bedic’s penalty kick found the back of the net in the 25th minute while Mintah added a goal in the 87th minute.
“We needed to be 100 percent focused to get the three points,” Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida quoted in another article of Inquirer.net. “Stallion will always be tough to beat. But the players did just enough to take the win. It’s an important win because we know Stallion is one of the contenders for the title this season.”
Green Archers United occupied the third spot with six points also thanks to a 1-0 victory over Global-Cebu with Cristian Zubiri scored the lone goal of the match in the 72nd minute.
Green Archers also scored a 5-1 victory over Mendiola FC 1991 with Val Jurao achieved a brace after firing goals during the 4th and 58th minute. Tating Pasilan and substitute Kim Hyun Kyon contributed a goal each during the 53rd and 64th minute respectively.
John Celiz added a goal in the third minute stoppage time for Green Archers.
Stallion Laguna holds the fourth spot with four points thanks to a draw with Ceres-Negros and earning a 3-0 victory over Philippine Air Force.
Warren Bedia had a brace for the Laguna-based squad, in firing goals during the 4th and 34th minute while Nathan Alquiros scored also in the 75th minute.
“My players came out with something to prove in this match,” said Stallion head coach Ernie Nierras via Inquirer.net after the match.
Mendiola FC 1991 and Philippine Air Force ranked fifth and sixth so far with a point each after earning a 1-1 draw in battling each other with Roberto Corsame scored for Mendiola FC during the 7th minute while Alvin Obero answered back for the Airmen during the 58th minute.
Global-Cebu is currently on the bottom of the standings with zero points.