COACH Risto Vidakovic was more than happy with the team’s performance after coming out with a perfect record for the month of August.
The Ceres-Negros FC mentor saw his wards come out with six wins in as many games for the month highlighted by a double-digit win last August 28.
“We performed perfectly,” said the Serbia-born mentor. Even when we played in bad weather and practically an unplayable pitch, the team always gave everything and I think they we deserve to be in first place,” he added.
The Busmen started out strong with victory against second placed Kaya FC last August 3 in Lipa after protecting their 1-0 lead for most of the match with only ten men.
A statement win against third placers Stallion FC and full points against the Philippine Air Force and Mendiola meant that a perfect record for the month was within reach.
They finished out August with a thirteen-goal victory against Global Cebu to win all the games.
“The behavior of the players was really good. Everyone pushed to stay together even after all the problems that we had inside the club after the AFC Cup.”
“I think everyone tried to be united here. If we looked back, the players behaved like nothing happened even if it was a very hard moment for everyone.”
“I’m very grateful for the behavior of the players, that everyone kept together, and gave everything on the pitch. The performance during August was spectacular,” Vidakovic added.
Meanwhile, four players Ceres-Negros Football Club were called up to the Philippine National Team to participate in the September leg of the joint qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.
Carli De Murga, Mike Ott, OJ Porteria, and Stephan Schrock will be in Bacolod for the first matchday against Syria on September 5 and on September 10 in Dededo when they play away in Guam.
They will also be joined by former Busmen in Alvaro Silva, Amani Aguinaldo, Martin Steuble, and Patrick Reichelt in the FIFA International break.
The second round of qualification will last until June 2020 which will see the Philippine Azkals play against other teams in Group B such as the top ranked China and the dangerous Maldives.
Ceres-Negros and Philippines midfielder Mike Ott knows how difficult the first qualifying match for the Azkals in Panaad on September 5.
They will face a powerhouse Syria squad that was only two steps away from making the main tournament in Russia.
“It will be a tough first game, for sure, against Syria and we will be prepared.” said the creative midfielder who scored six goals this month. “I’m sure our coach will prepare us and we will try our best.”
Though the quality of the opposition is already given, Ott is confident that the home support will buoy them to a good performance in the first matchday.
“The first game is at home and we’re ecstatic that we can play for our home crowd in Bacolod. We are happy when they come and all to support us,” Ott added.
“When we get the people like we do in Ceres and also the people from around the region, it’s always good.”
“I’m hoping for a really good atmosphere and they will give us the last percent we will need for the game.”
The Azkals will face Syria in Panaad on September 5. Kickoff for the match is set at 730 pm. (Ceres Media)