Ceres-La Salle striker is 2016 AFC Cup's second best scorer so far
Santino Honasan on May 12, 2016 05:16 PM
MAIN MAN. Spanish striker Adrian Gallardo (9) has been the scoring star for Ceres-La Salle in the 2016 AFC Cup
Bacolod-based club and former UFL champions Ceres-La Salle have been quite impressive in the 2016 edition of the AFC Cup, and anchoring their offense so far has been Spanish striker Adrian Gallardo.
In six matches played so far, Gallardo has found the back of the net eight times, good for second-best in the whole tournament. What's more is that many of those conversions have been crucial ones for Ceres-La Salle.
In their opening match against Malaysian club Selangor FA in Bacolod, Gallardo scored an 87th minute equalizer to hold the visiting club to a 2-2 draw.
Gallardo followed that up with a brace four minute brace against Bangladeshi side Lt. Sheik Jamal Dhanmondi in a 2-0 win.
In back-to-back matchups against Singapore's Tampines Rovers, Gallardo again netted a cruicial equalizer in the first match, and then sank a penalty in the second match that proved to be the difference for a 2-1 win at home.
His most impressive outing however, came during the final match of the Group Stage, recording a hat trick in a 5-0 rout of Sheik Jamal to secure the top spot in Group E.
The only player to have more conversions in the tournament so far is Iraqi striker Hammadi Ahmad, who's netted eleven goals for Iraqi champions Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, including three braces and a hat trick in six matches.
Mohd Safiq Rahim of Malaysian juggernaut Johor Darul Ta'zim has seven goals to his name, while three players are tied with six conversions each.
With a Round of 16 appearance up ahead for Ceres-La Salle, Gallardo will need to be his lethal self once again to help ensure that the pride of Bacolod will advance into the next round.