Ceres bounce back from first defeat with Socceroo rout

United Football League leaders Ceres got back to winning ways following their first defeat of the 2015 campaign on Tuesday after beating Team Socceroo 4-0.

Ivorian midfielder Orman Okunaiya fired them in front on the stroke of halftime before Patrick Reichelt doubled their lead with a penalty in the 48th minute, following a foul on Nate Burkey inside the box.

Ceres then put the result beyond doubt nine minutes after the hour mark when they scored a third through a Lemuel Unabia effort, and the rout was completed eight minutes from time when Burkey also converted from the spot, after Reichelt had been brought down in the area by Stanley Ankrah.

The emphatic victory ensured Ceres responded in the best way possible, after they had their 100 per cent start to the season ended last Saturday following a 2-0 defeat to Global.

Still, with eight wins and just one loss to their name following the first round of the season, Ceres are firmly on course to challenge for the title as they currently hold a three-point lead over second-placed Stallion FC.

Team Socceroo: Marco Poli, Jerome Cuyos, Stanley Ankrah, Paolo Casambre, Arnel Casil, Ryan Fermin, Michael Reyes (John Michael Navarro 10’), Feb Baya, Rogie Maglinas (Jon Aaron Carlos 8’), Masood Shadideh, Beleu Cleopas.

Ceres: Eduard Sacapano, Jason Sabio, Juan Luis Guirado (Lemuel Unabia 46’), Valentine Kama, Jason Panhay, Marwin Angeles (Camelo Tacusalme 72’), Martin Steuble (Manny Ott 61’), Orman Okunaiya (Arnie Pasinabo 54’), Patrick Reichelt, Jalsor Soriano (Marvin Angeles 61’), Nate Burkey.

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Ten-man Loyola fight back to draw with Kaya in thriller

Loyola Meralco Sparks overcame the first-half sending-off of talismanic striker Phil Younghusband to force a 3-3 draw with rivals Kaya in the United Football League on Sunday evening.

It was the Sparks who drew first blood at the Rizal Memorial Stadium when Younghusband opened the scoring after 13 minutes, only for Louis Clark to grab an equaliser four minutes before the half-hour mark.

Loyola were then dealt a real blow in the 31st minute when Younghusband was shown a second yellow after reacting aggressively to a foul by Miguel Tanton, but they managed to reclaim the lead a minute later through a Lee Joo-young strike.

Still, Kaya managed to make the most of their numerical deficit as OJ Porteria levelled the scores for them once more ten minutes before halftime, before Jovin Bedic fired them in front for the first time two minutes after the hour mark.

But just when it looked as though Kaya were going to get back to winning ways following last week’s 3-0 defeat to Stallion FC, Anthony Putrus-Schnell converted from a Lee corner to make it 3-3 and earn the Sparks a share of the spoils.

The result means both sides continue to sit comfortably inside the top five but are below third-placed Global on goal difference, with the trio of teams two points behind joint leaders Ceres and Stallion.

In Sunday’s other game, Pachanga Diliman notched only their second win of the campaign after beating bottom side Philippine Army GTI 4-1.

It was Army who got off to a dream start when John Cain broke the deadlock after just three minutes, although Lee Jeong-woo equalised from the penalty spot in the 18th minute.

Pachanga then began to gain control on proceedings and Jung Jun-hyuk netted to put them in front three minutes after the break, before Gerardo Valmayor added a third in the 59th minute.

From then on, there was only ever going to be one winner but, just for good measure, Stephen Permanes made it 4-1 after his side were awarded another penalty to complete the rout.

 Sunday’s United Football League Results

Pachanga Diliman 4-1 Philippine Army GTI

Loyola Meralco Sparks 3-3 Kaya

Global hand Ceres first defeat; Stallion see off Archers

United Football League leaders Ceres had their 100 per cent record ended on Saturday after being beaten 2-0 by defending champions Global at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

It was Global who took the lead three minutes before halftime when Misagh Bahadoran met Hikaru Minegishi’s cross and headed the ball past Louie Michael Casas into the back of the net.

Six minutes after the hour mark, they went on to make sure of the win after Bahadoran charged down the right and played the ball to Minegishi, who squared a pass for Mark Hartmann to emphatically smash home the sealer.

Stallion FC moved up to second place earlier in the day and find themselves level on points with Ceres following a 2-1 triumph over ten-man Green Archers United.

The Archers were dealt a real blow when they had Herve Ebanda sent off five minutes before the half-hour mark, and Stallion made their numerical advantage count when Shirmar Felongco opened the scoring on the stroke of halftime.

Jovanie Simpron looked to have earned the Archers a point when he levelled the scores with seven minutes remaining, but in the 90th minute, Jordan Mintah found the back of the net to win it for Stallion.

In Saturday’s early kick-off, Manila Jeepney finally recorded their first win of the campaign at the ninth time of asking after defeating Team Socceroo 3-1.

Following a goalless first half, Alvaro Alonso fired Jeepney ahead in the 53rd minute and their lead was soon doubled when Jake Morallo added a second two minutes later.

Ngaly Epesso then scored in the 83rd minute to wrap up the three points for his side, although Socceroo did manage a consolation in injury-time through a Beleu Cleopas strike.

Saturday’s United Football League Results

Team Socceroo 1-3 Manila Jeepney

Stallion FC 2-1 Green Archers United

Global 2-0 Ceres

Persib stay top in AFC Cup; Global claim first-ever triumph

Persib Bandung remain top of Group H in the AFC Cup despite playing out a 0-0 draw with Lao Toyota at the New Laos National Stadium on Wednesday.

Despite entering the clash as favourites to claim the win, the Indonesian Super League giants were unable to find a way past their stubborn opponents, who showed great resilience throughout the 90 minutes.

Nonetheless, the result keeps Persib unbeaten in the campaign with a two-point lead at the top, and they remain on course for a place in the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Ayeyawady United were unable to fully capitalise on Persib’s slip-up as they were also held to a 0-0 draw by New Radiant at the Thuwunna Stadium to remain in second place.

Over in Group G, it was a monumental day for Philippine outfit Global as they beat nine-man Yadanarbon 4-1 to claim their maiden win in the tournament, in what was also the first match to be played at the new Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue.

Mark Hartmann got them on their way with a 16th-minute penalty after Renato Gonzalez’s freekick had been handled inside the box, although Yan Paing equalised for the visitors four minutes later.

However, the hosts reclaimed the lead through another Hartmann strike six minutes before halftime, before Misagh Bahadoran made it 3-1 in the 58th minute with a fine individual effort.

Things then got from bad to worse for the Myanmar National League outfit when Zaw Linn Tun was shown a straight red in the 70th minute, although Hartmann spurned an excellent chance to complete his hat-trick shortly after when his penalty was saved by Thiha Sithu.

But any hopes the visitors had of a comeback were ended in the 76th minute when they also had Tin Win Aung sent off for a second bookable offence, and Global went on to complete the rout six minutes from time when Gonzalez added a fourth from a freekick.

The result also means Global are back in the hunt for a place in the knockout round, after second-placed Pahang were beaten 3-1 by table-topping South China at the Mong Kok Stadium.

After Philip Chan had fired the hosts ahead in the 11th minute, Lo Kong Wai found the back of the net seven minutes into the second half to put them firmly in control of proceedings.

Jack Sealy then struck four minutes later to effectively put the result beyond doubt, although the Malaysian visitors did grab a consolation in the 62nd minute through a Dickson Nwakaeme strike.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group G

South China 3-1 Pahang

Global 4-1 Yadanarbon

Group H

Ayeyawady United 0-0 New Radiant

Lao Toyota 0-0 Persib Bandung

Singapore to meet Indonesia; Thais face Malaysia, Vietnam

Hosts Singapore’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were handed a boost on Wednesday after they were handed a fairly favourable draw.

Seeded as hosts for the Under-23 tournament, the Lions were drawn in Group A alongside Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Philippines.

With only the top two progressing to the last four, it looks like Singapore will be battling for qualification with the Indonesians and Myanmar.

Nonetheless, Cambodia will be confident in their prospects having recorded a 2-1 win over Singapore just last month, while Philippines have taken huge strides in recent years and are now considered a legitimate threat in the region.

But it appears most of the drama will come in Group B after defending champions Thailand were pitted against 2011 winners Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste.

Under Kiatisuk Senamuang, who also guided the senior team to victory at the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Thais are favourites to finish top with Malaysia and Vietnam expected to battle it out for the second qualifying berth.

However, with the likes of Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Ketsada Souksavanh to call upon, Laos could just spring an upset or two along the way.

2015 Southeast Asian Games Draw

Group A: Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines

Group B: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste

Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia to meet; Lions set for Japan duel

Three of Southeast Asia’s traditional heavyweights – Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia – will face off in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers are they were all drawn in Group F on Tuesday.

The draw for the second round of qualification took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and saw a total of ten teams from Southeast Asia find out their path to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will see each of them play eight matches from June to next March.

Apart from the World Cup, the qualifiers will also double up for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which means Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia all stand an excellent chance of progressing to the continent’s biggest tournament.

Although Iraq are favourites to finish top of Group F, the trio of Southeast Asian countries will all fancy their prospects of fighting it out for second place, given the remaining team is minnows Chinese Taipei.

Over in Group E, Singapore and Cambodia both face a tricky route to the next round after being pitted against Asian giants Japan, Syria and Afghanistan.

Malaysia find themselves in Group A along with regional rivals Timor-Leste, although they will be aware they will have to get a result against either United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia or Palestine to have any chance of advancing to the Asian Cup.

Neighbours Myanmar and Laos will meet in Group G along with Korea Republic, Kuwait and Lebanon, while Philippines face Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Korea DPR and Yemen in Group H.

2018 FIFA World Cup Second Round Qualifying Draw

Group A: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor Leste, Malaysia

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh

Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei

Group G: Korea Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, Korea DPR, Yemen

Stallion hand Kaya second defeat; Archers down Pachanga

Kaya fell to only their second loss of the 2015 United Football League season on Sunday evening after beating beaten 3-0 by Stallion FC at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Following a goalless first half, Stallion took the lead two minutes after the hour mark when Belinga Blanchard fired a lovely freekick past Nick O’Donnell, before Kaya were dealt a real blow ten minutes later when Jorge Butron was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Ernie Nierras’ charges capitalised on their numerical deficit by adding a second through a Simone Rota penalty in the 89th minute, and the three points were wrapped up a minute later when Ruben Doctora grabbed a third for his side.

The result means Stallion have now moved above Global into fourth spot, while Kaya remain three points behind leaders Ceres but have now played a game more.

In Sunday’s earlier game, Green Archers United recorded their second win in a row after defeating Pachanga Diliman 3-1.

Jesus Melliza opened the scoring for the Archers a minute before the break and they edged further in front on the stroke of halftime when Robert Waly Lopez Mendy netted from the spot, after Nathan Octavio had been penalised for handball inside the area.

Emelio Caligdong then made it 3-0 in the 75th minute to effectively put the result beyond doubt, although Pachanga did grab a consolation three minutes before fulltime when Octavio found the back of the net.

Sunday’s United Football League Results

Green Archers United 3-1 Pachanga Diliman

Kaya 0-3 Stallion FC