By Jerome S. Galunan, Jr.
Despite a rain-soaked pitch, Ceres-Negros FC midfielder Iain Ramsay was able to deliver a hat trick, leading to another 7-0 victory, this time over Philippines Football League (PFL) leaders FC Meralco Manila at the Rizal Memorial Stadium over the weekend.
Ceres striker Fernando Rodríguez earned a brace early in the match, scoring in the 17th and 21st minutes.
Before the half, Ramsay scored the first of his three goals in the 36th minute, off a pass from midfielder Manuel Ott.
Once the match resumed, a pair of quick fire goals were scored by Ramsay and midfielder Stephan Schröck in the 49th and 50th minutes, respectively.
Ramsay sealed his hat trick in the 74th minute.
The seventh goal, however, originated from a cross by forward Patrick Reichelt, which deflected off Meralco Manila defender Alvin Sarmiento, resulting in an own goal.
During the post-match press conference, Ceres coach Risto Vidaković said the first half lead provided the team with some flexibility in the second half.
“It’s easier to play after that because there’s no pressure anymore in the second half,” he said. “In the second half, they also started to attack and we had a lot of space.”
Ceres currently sits in third place on the PFL table with 19 points, four points adrift from their opponents, who remain at number one.
Global Cebu FC is currently in second place with 21 points./JSG, WDJ