By Jonas Terrado
Ceres-Negros became the first club in the modern era to complete an unbeaten campaign after beating Kaya-Iloilo 3-0 Saturday in the conclusion of the Philippines Football League season at the Aboitiz Pitch in Lipa City, Batangas.
OJ Porteria broke the ice in the 73rd minute before Bienvenido Maranon and James Younghusband struck in injury time to seal the victory held before a big numbers of Ceres supporters.
Stephan Schrock, who played a key role in the Philippine Azkals’ scoreless draw against China in Bacolod last Tuesday, also provided two assists for Ceres.
PFL officials later handed the league trophy to Ceres, its third straight since the league opened shop in 2017 and fourth out of the last five seasons dating back to the defunct United Football League.
Coach Risto Vidakovic’s side finished the season with 22 wins and two draws for 68 points, 12 clear of runner-up Kaya. Ceres also earned a spot in the first preliminary round of next year’s AFC Champions League.
No club has ever finished a league season unbeaten since the local football scene’s rise began with the Philippine Azkals’ semifinal stint in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Tags: Azkals, Bienvenido Maranon, Ceres-Negros, James Younghusband, Kaya-Iloilo, OJ Portertia, PFL, Philippine Azkals, Philippines Football League, Risto Vidakovic, Stephan Schrock, United Football League