PFL: Stallion stun Ceres; Kaya close in at the top

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Ceres-Negros’ bid to win the Philippines Football League was dealt a blow on Wednesday after they fell to a shock 2-0 loss to Stallion Laguna.

Gabriele Mascazzini broke the deadlock at the Binan Football Stadium just before halftime, when he was left unmarked at the far post to poke home after being picked out by Nathan Alquiros’ inch-perfect cross.

Stallion then doubled their lead a minute before the hour mark through a sweeping counterattack; Fitch Arboleda receiving a throw from goalkeeper Benito Rosalia and embarking on a 40-yard charge before playing a defence-splitting pass to release Ruben Doctora Jr., who coolly finished past Roland Muller.

A positive night for the hosts was somewhat dampened five minutes from time when Nicholas Ferrer was shown a straight red following an altercation with Stephan Schrock, although it took away little from a fine overall display.

The result means Ceres remain six points behind leaders Meralco Manila but now only have three games in hand to make up the deficit, with both sides set to meet in their final game of the season on November 24.

Meanwhile, Kaya FC-Makati remain firmly in the running as they moved a point off the pace – albeit having played a game more than Meralco – by beating Davao Aguilas 2-0 at the Davao Del Norte Sports Complex.

Kaya took the lead in the 45th minute when Jordan Mintah’s towering header from a Miguel Tanton corner was blocked on the line, but the Ghanaian showed great determination to dive in and nod the rebound into the back of the net.

Three minutes after the hour mark, Tanton went on to seal maximum points as he lined up a freekick on the edge of the box and proceeded to curl a sublime effort in off the bar.