Dynamic Herb Cebu FC bucked the absence of in-form midfielder Daniel Gadia to subdue Mendiola FC 1991, 3-1, last Saturday and grab top spot in the Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.
The Gentle Giants scored all of their goals in the second half as they continued their unbeaten run to 17 matches and hiked their tally to 43 points this season, two ahead of Kaya FC Iloilo.
Ivan Ouano, Marius Kore and Kintaro Miyagi all found the back of the net for the Gentle Giants who needed to keep their poise as tempers flared in the last 10 minutes.
“We only focused on what impact we can do in the match,” said Ouano who came in at halftime and scored 10 minutes later.
Jeremiah Borlongan set up Ouano on the left, before the Cebu striker slotted the ball past Mendiola keeper Joseh Ceniza.
Kore doubled the lead five minutes later off Borlongan’s corner, but Mendiola set up a thrilling finish when Junior Sam scored in the 80th minute.
Ceniza was sent off late after hitting Rintaro Hama, leaving Mendiola with 10 men. But the Gentle Giants also lost a player due to a red card on Nicolas Ferrer who elbowed Peter John Banaynal.
Miyagi restored the cushion with a diving header late on, sealing Cebu’s win.