Ceres down Sheikh Jamal, win group

Filipino side Ceres FC destroyed Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi of Bangladesh 5-0 in a Group E match of the AFC Cup on Tuesday at Bacolod City thanks to a hat-trick by Spanish forward Adrian Gallardo.

This was a match of no major consequence for the group as Ceres have already reached the last 16 stage, and the win over Sheikh Jamal now sees them top the group with 12 points, ahead of Tampines Rovers of Singapore on 10 points.

The opening goal was scored in the seventh minute by midfielder Bienvenido Maranon with a rocket shot. The Sheikh Jamal defence failed to clear a corner adequately and the Spaniard latched on to the loose ball from outside the box to score a fantastic goal.

Ceres went two goals up in the ninth minute when Gallardo scored with a tap-in. A gorgeous long ball fell at the feet of Patrick Reichelt, who drew the keeper before sending it square to Gallardo.

The 28-year-old Gallardo then scored his second goal of the match in the 57th minute, toeing an accurate cross into the back of the net.

The striker’s third came just seven minute later after he showed superb ball control in close quarters before steering his effort past the keeper.

Reichelt was rewarded for his excellent distribution skills with the final goal of the match in the 70th minute. This time, Gallardo provided the pass as the German-born Reichelt took advantage of some woeful defending.