Disappointing result for the Davao Aguilas as they return to their home ground in Davao del Norte

July 16, 2018

Ceres-Negros spoils Davao’s return back home at Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum, Davao del Norte as the hosts suffered a 3-1 defeat to the league leaders this Saturday, who are 2 wins away from clinching the title for the 2nd straight season in the Philippines Football League as the league soon comes to a close with just 5 games to go for the defending champions.

It was a surprise goal from Christiaens in the 6th minute as he makes a cross from the left flank towards the goal aided by a miscalculated reaction from Bayan Jr who wasn’t able to get into position in time to save the ball from going in his net.

The early advantage gifted by Davao played a role as Ceres was able to control much of the first half with their trademark possession, moving the ball from left to right and vice-versa, hence, frustrating the Davao Aguilas side and its fans who were great in number, totaling to 3,765 in attendance. This could’ve been the largest crowd to witness a football match this season.

Within 15 minutes, Ceres had the chance to double their lead as OJ Porteria took a free-kick just outside the penalty box of Davao but was just a little bit over the crossbar. Davao continued to face some problems as Maranon was able to hit the post with a curling finesse shot that could’ve doubled the lead of Ceres once again.

However, the hosts were able to show their beloved fans in Davao that they were not going down without a fight. Phil Younghusband was able to make a good attempt with his free-kick as he curled in the ball towards the goal of Ceres but Toni Doblas was able to comfortably catch the ball.

In the 37th minute, Mike Ott was sent off with a red card as he was seen by the referee making some verbal aggression towards a Davao Aguilas player, it wasn’t clear as to what he did or said but the referee definitely deemed it worthy of a red card, thus, ending Mike Ott’s presence early.

Just before the half time whistle, OJ Porteria again struck a curling shot to the top right corner but Bayan Jr. was able to make a magnificent save to put the ball away just enough for it to go out of play.

Right after the 2nd half resumed, Davao continued to face some aggressive attacks from Ceres but was able to fight back and protect their goal from conceding another one. It gave the hosts the chance to regain some confidence and produce some attempts to get back in the game.

At 60 minutes, however, Amani Aguinaldo was able to double the lead for his side as he heads the ball in from a corner by Manny Ott, who was a substitute in the game. It wasn’t clear as to what the mistake of the Davao defense or keeper was but it was a scramble in the 8-yard box for sure.

Davao’s misery was summed up in the 76th minute as a penalty was awarded to Ceres with Maranon sealing the penalty making it 3-0 at this point. Despite the deficit, the fans never kept quiet and continued to cheer on the Aguilas as they wanted to show whose home it really was. What a crowd indeed, this could also be a benchmark for other clubs to bring the crowds bigger in their respective home grounds. Not to mention, the lads from Apo Bahani, ultras of Davao Aguilas, was there to show their love and passion for the club as they kept singing and chanting the boys on for the whole 92 minutes of the game.

At the 89th minute, Davao Aguilas gave their fans something to cheer for as Kim Sung Min was able to put the ball in the net for his side and make the score 3-1. This proved Kim’s lethal finishing, noticing that he has been scoring crucial goals for Davao despite not getting the minutes he would’ve wanted, or expected by most. He is truly turning to be a fan favorite for the Mindanao-based squad. Although, it was a little too late for the Aguilas, it surely gave the side something to hope for and continued looking for the next goal. The hunger to get back in the game is always there for the Davao Aguilas but it was just not enough as Ceres was able to seal another win, nearing another championship in the PFL.

Ceres now stands comfortably in 1st place as they have 48 points in 20 games while Davao sits in 3rd with 24 points after 18 games. Second place Kaya also stays in 2nd, sitting comfortably with 9 points advantage over Davao.

The next time the Davao Aguilas will play is on Wednesday against Global Cebu at their alternative home, Rizal Memorial Stadium, 4pm. They will surely be looking for a win to get back on track, trying to win 2nd place by the end of the season.