Davao Aguilas stun champ Ceres Negros with 3-0 win
Phil Younghusband scored a brace while Jason de Jong struck another goal to give Davao Aguilas an emphatic 3-0 victory over reigning Philippines Football League (PFL) champion Ceres Negros at Panaad Stadium on Sunday night.
However, the match no longer had a bearing on the home team’s standing since Ceres already secured the 2018 PFL title last July 25 after earning 54 points.
The victory was Davao’s first over Ceres in a total of five matches.
Head coach Melchor Anzures gave credit to the Aguilas’ team work.
“We’re very happy. The team worked together, it paid off. We won the match,” Anzures said during the post-match press conference.
He added that the win was a morale booster and will motivate them to work harder to win their succeeding matches.
Younghusband, who was named “Man of the Match,” found the back of the net in the 27th and 31st followed by a third goal from De Jong seven minutes later.
“This is our first win (against Ceres). We’re disappointed it has taken this long, but Ceres is a very good team,” Younghusband said.
“This will be good for our confidence, coming into the (PFL) Cup. Hopefully, we would be able to take this form and this performance into the next competition,” he added.
The Azkals striker shared he is glad to play again before the crowd in Bacolod, where he first played for the Philippine men’s football team 13 years ago.
“This field means a lot to me. It’s where the first time I represented the Philippines in 2005. It’s always great to score, but it’s even more special to score in the place where it all started,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ceres Negros assistant coach Ian Treyes said it is “very difficult” to motivate the Busmen to still give their all in the remaining matches, knowing they are already the champions.
Still, those who played were ready to face Davao, he said.
Ceres’ starting lineup included newly-signed Blake Powell, Curt Dizon, Paul Mulders and Jerry Barbaso, but without key players Bienvenido Marañon, Stephan Schrock, Patrick Reichelt, and Ott brothers, Manny and Mike.
“They showed a lot of heart, I don’t know what happened. We conceded three goals,” Treyes said.
Ceres Negros’ debacle started about 15 minutes into game when head coach Risto Vidakovic was sent off after pushing away referee Clifford Daypuyat, as the Serbian mentor protested an incident between Toni Doblas and James Younghusband.
Four days earlier, Ceres Negros, which has two remaining games in the 2018 PFL season, also lost to Singapore’s Home United in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Finals. (PNA)