Ceres, Kaya prime up for AFC Cup with big wins

Reigning league champion Ceres-La Salle and 2015 Cup winner Kaya warmed up for their AFC Cup campaigns with convincing victories Thursday night in the United Football League Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

With Adrian Gallardo and Stephan Schrock combining for seven goals, Ceres overwhelmed Pasargad, 9-0, for its third straight win in Group B after Kaya rolled past Agila, 5-1, in their Group A encounter.

It was another dominant performance by the Bacolod-based Ceres side as it proved relentless an overmatched Pasargad side.

The result augurs well for Ceres, which flies to Bacolod for its AFC Cup opener against Malaysian powerhouse Selangor at Panaad Stadium on Tuesday.

Ceres has now scored 24 goals in its last two matches, counting the 15-0 beating it inflicted on Nomads last Sunday.

OJ Porteria got a brace as Kaya climbed to top spot in Group A on goal difference with its second straight win.

Read: Ceres shows no mercy in 15-0 trashing of Nomads

But coach Chris Greatwich’s side has played one more game than Stallion, which is also at six points.

Aly Borromeo and Joven Bedic scored for the second straight match, while Kenshiro Daniels added another goal in the 72nd minute for Kaya, which travels to Hong Kong to face powerhouse Kitchee on Tuesday in their AFC Cup debut.

After losing its last two matches by a combined 14 goals, Pasargad set out for a more cautious approach against Ceres.

But it took the Bacolod side just 20 minutes to break the deadlock as Gallardo scored the first of his four goals with a header from close range.

Schrock swapped passes with Manny Ott, before firing home from eight yards out for his first goal. Kevin Ingreso made it 3-nil just before halftime with a precise finish at the far post off another lovely ball from Ott.

Martin Steuble scored on a long-range strike two minutes after the restart before Schrock found Gallardo for an acrobatic strike to make it 5-0.

Read: UFL: De Murga announces return with brace for Ceres

Finding his rhythm, Schrock knocked in his second goal from close range after showing good control and movement off the ball.

The Fil-German wrapped up the scoring with another cool finish three minutes from time.

Meanwhile, the UFL Disciplinary Committee has reversed the outcome of Global’s 2-1 win over Green Archers last Saturday after Global violated the foreign player rule.

Global exceeded in the number of foreigners allowed in the match-day squad, prompting Archers to file a protest.

Archers were awarded a 3-0 win, climbing to second in Group B behind Ceres-La Salle.