Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ceres ambushes Global, 1-0, to advance to the semis of the Smart National Club Championships

Ambush at RMFS
by rick olivares

One goal. One of two attempts (unlike the singular chance in the win over Stallion). One more huge if not controversial win.

Ceres continues its incredible march towards football immortality when it advances to the semifinal round of the Smart National Club Championships following a pulsating 1-0 win over Global at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium last Saturday, January 19.

From the moment of kick-off, rather than stalk their foe warily to gauge the game plan, Ceres blindsided Global with their pace and aggressiveness as they attacked, pressed, and tackled. “We wanted to take them off their rhythm,” said team manager Ali Go. “I think we surprised them.”

The blitzkrieg of sorts unsettled Global and in only the 12th minute of play, English striker Peter Long was the recipient of a short pass at the center of the edge of the box. With Global defender Val Kama two feet away, Long, whose one-touch passing and quickness to the ball galvanized Ceres’ attack, turned and fired towards the far post. The ball evaded the outstretched arms of keeper Roland Sadia and just like that, the visitors were up, 1-0.

For top sides that start slow, more often than not, an early goal by an opponent jars their senses. Global began to assert itself both on defense and offense as they took command of the field.

With the adrenaline wearing off and perhaps a question of fitness and conditioning, Peter Long, who arrived from the University of Central Lancashire, along with defender Danny Claxton to play for Ceres for this tournament, was finally checked. With strike mate Jimuel Arriola mostly useless on offense and defense, Ceres’ attack bogged down.

The injury to Ceres midfielder Rolando Treyes who was cautioned after a reckless tackle on Carli De Murga further rendered their offense toothless.

The game got contentious with what Global perceived as the dangerous tackles where Ceres players who nip at their heels or undercut them. Treyes’ tackle even bore some controversy when he went down and referee Wilfredo Bermejo called for the stretcher. But Treyes soon got up and walked off the pitch under his own power for treatment in the sidelines. “That’s a second yellow card,” argued Global team manager Dan Palami because of the delay of the game and what they also thought to be a ploy to break their momentum.

Bermejo remained silent despite the vociferous complaints of Global’s staff. “It’s the referee’s decision,” was all fourth official Steve Supresencia offered but Global would not take any consolation.

However prior to that, Ceres had a bone to pick with the match officials. In their Bacolod match against Stallion, midfielder Byeong Yun Yoon was issued two yellow cards that saw him sent off. One of those cards was for his putting a cloth like wristband that he uses to wipe off his sweat. FIFA rules do not allow the use of wristbands, sweatbands or anything of that sort but leagues are also allowed for their own interpretation.

Ceres assistant Mon Janeo attests that Yoon was allowed to wear such and the team was surprised to see him sent off later on for that reason. They filed a protest based on that but the technical committee rendered no judgment.

When the Negrenses took the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium pitch, they were surprised to see a few Global players with tape around their arms. They protested immediately.

Minutes after the match started, someone from the tournament’s technical committee informed the referees to stop the match and have the Global players remove the tape. This drew the ire of Global head coach Brian Reid and Palami. “They were inspected and they were allowed to wear it and now in the middle of the match you are going to ask them to remove it?” thundered Palami. “You have to do your jobs right.”

Two early controversies and the game was getting started. Following Long’s stunning strike and Global finally waking from it stupor, the match suddenly was eerily reminiscent of the 2011 UFL Cup Finals between Air Force and Loyola where the latter rained shot after shot at the former’s goal but only for the goalkeeper and the defense to stem the tide as they took a win on a pair of counters.

It was the same thing as Global unleashed a barrage from close and long range. Carli de Murga had some terrific chances. So did Izzo El Habbib. But with Ceres throwing the entire parking lot behind their defensive half of the field and Korean keeper Jae Hun Hyeon stopping shot after shot, Global was undone.

The visitors had a second magnificent opportunity to double their score when they drew Global’s defense to the right and a cross and a dummy gave substitute Gun Hee Choi an opening, an unmarked and unchallenged opportunity to score. But instead he blasted it wide.

Yet even in the endgame, there was controversy. With four minutes added time, Bermejo blew his whistle with 1:145 left to play as an angry Global side walked off while team officials confronted them

“It’s okay to lose because that’s football,” said Palami. “But the referees have to do their jobs right and not leave room for doubt. It’s small consolation to own ball possession when you cannot convert. We will write the PFF and tell them that the officials should apply the laws of the game and to be fair. We are not filing a protest and are only making our thoughts known. The only thing that matters after the game is the result and we must commend Ceres for that. They have done well and we wish them good luck the rest of the way.”

A gleeful Ceres side celebrated and danced on the pitch while their supporters, numbering a couple of dozens and decked in yellow, wildly cheered on. “It’s an amazing feeling,” beamed Ali Go. “Whether we got lucky or not, we won and we showed everyone that there is talent outside Manila. We made a strong case for Bacolod football. And we are moving on.”

Note: After the match, Ceres midfielder Joshua Beloya said that he will not join the Philippine Dolphins, the Beach Football National Team in a tournament in Qatar, as his side advanced  to the next stage of the Smart National Club Championship. Dolphins player Kale Alvarez in a phone interview from NAIA, who coached Kaya in their last season, expressed dismay. “I am not sure what the arrangement is but sana hindi na lang siya nag-commit. We could have chosen someone else to take his place early. We are trying now to find a replacement. But at the moment we are a man short.” The national team has Army’s Roel Gener and Nestor Margarse, Air Force keeper Tats Mercado, Nomads’ midfielder Jason Arroyo, and Fil-foreigners Oliver Potschke and Sean Hungerford.

My man of the match for Ceres? Left back Hyung Min Sim. He was much shorter than Global’s Patrick Reichelt but he gamely battled him all match long. At one point, he stuck out his tongue – a sign that he was tiring. Ali Go looked at him to ask if he could continue and Sim gave him the thumbs up sign. He figuratively killed himself on defense chasing Reichelt and Jerry Barbaso. He looked shaky at times as he was about to concede space but he always came back. I was impressed. Said Go afterwards: “That is why he is one of my favorite players. He doesn’t know the word “quit.”


  1. crybaby palami! lol you're lucky those players were not yellow-carded for wearing armbands, unlike that ceres player who received a yellow card which contributed to his being sent off for doing the same..

  2. "FIFA rules do not allow the use of wristbands, sweatbands or anything of that sort but leagues are also allowed for their own interpretation."

    There is no present rule in FIFA that prohibits the use of wristbands/sweatbands. If ever there was any prohibition that was in the past.

    FIFA’s Equipment Regulations dated March 2010 specifically V Section I “ Special Equipment for Players” Article 24.2 Headbands& Wristbands provides and I quote “The Players may wear a headband or wristbands.”

    Likewise, FIFA Laws of the Game Law 4 does not have any prohibition on that either. It just enumerates the requirements of basic equipment and prohibits specifically the use of jewelry or anything that may cause any physical harm to the player and others.

    Unless the headbands and wristbands were not used to conceal certain prohibited items such as jewelry there is no violation.

    Therefore, Ceres has all the right to file a protest since obviously there was an error in the referee’s disciplinary decision because the referee's decision did not represent any violation in the FIFA Laws.

    The Technical Committee on the other hand must render judgement base on the facts and Fifa's ruling------this should have been addressed and settled before the next stage of the tournament. There is no reason to sit on the case. All FIFA Laws and Circulars are readily available at their website.If they have any doubts on the FIFA Rules they should visit their site.

    Regarding the tape the global players used even if the officials intially approved its use as Global claims--------if the Referee discovers that the tape was being used to conceal jewelry or has some hidden object underneath that may pose a danger to a player/s----the referee is authorized to have the tape removed anytime but this is the responsibility of the Referee and not the Tech Com.

    Hope this officials review the rules of the game so the credibility of the competition will be maintained.

  3. The complaint of Palami regarding the referee's "Failure" to issue another yellow card to Treyes for walking off and not leaving the pitch using a stretcher is without basis. Based on the Laws of the Game 2012 a player may choose to walk off the pitch or use a stretcher for treatment.
    This is clearly expressed in law 5 "“as soon as the referee has authorized the doctors to enter the field of play, the player must leave the field of play, EITHER ON A STRETCHER OR BY FOOT.”

    His accusation that Ceres was deploying some delaying tactics is just his opinion not a fact.

    I likewise agree that Global was lucky that unlike Ceres the player received a yellow card for using a sweatband. Headbands,sweatbands are allowed by FIFA ------it is clearly stated in the rules and several players to name a few Drogba, Sergie Ramos, Marcelo,Dani Alves have used sweatbands during the last Fifa World Cup and there are many photos to prove that.

    It is also clearly stated in the same rules that when a player's uniform is not in compliance with FIFA rules the player is asked to comply and a caution may only be issued if he wilfully refuses to comply OR having been told to remove the item, is discovered to be wearing the item again.So an outright yellow is not in line with Fifa Rules.

    1. whoever this mr/ms. anonymous enlightening with fifa rules, thanks! nice job.