Cebu FC finishes second in PFL after frustrating draw against visiting Stallion Laguna
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The Cebu Football Club (CFC) Gentle Giants ended their Philippines Football League (PFL) campaign at second place after absorbing a 0-0 draw against Stallion Laguna FC in the second of their back-to-back match on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at the Dynamic Herb-Borromeo Sports Complex at the South Road Properties in Cebu City.
The match was filled with tension after Cebu FC’s Turkish head coach Mehmet Khakil was booted out after receiving a red card from match officials.
The incident happened when Khakil stormed inside the pitch after the assistant referee called off the 84th minute goal of Papu Corsame as off-side.
Corsame perfectly struck the ball on the left side of the penalty box and went in at the back of the net.
However, their celebration was cut short after the referee called it off-side. The decision enraged Khakil, that several club officials needed to pacify him off the pitch.
Cebu FC had another close call of scoring a goal at the 96th minute from Cebuano, Ivan Ouano, who flicked the ball on the right side of the penalty box, but Patrick Deyto deflected it away, sealing the fate of Cebu FC as the runners-up of the tournament.
After the match, several players from Cebu FC confronted the match officials for their missed calls that cost them the PFL title.
Cebu FC had a bright chance of winning the PFL title if not for the Azkals Development Team’s sudden withdrawal despite having one last scheduled match against the former on Saturday, May 27, at the same venue.
With the sudden turn of events, Cebu FC finished its campaign with 51 points from 15 wins, five draws, and one defeat.
League leader Kaya FC Iloilo won the title with a very slim lead of one point from their 52 total points (17 wins, one draw, and three defeats).
Kaya still has a chance to extend their lead with a draw or a win against Stallion Laguna on Saturday at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
Kaya will represent the Philippines in the AFC Champions League as one of the prizes for topping the PFL.
Despite finishing as runners-up, Cebu FC will represent the Philippines still, in another international tournament, the AFC Asian Cup.
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