Friday, April 21, 2017
MANILA – Ceres-Negro s Football Club boosted its chances in the 2017 AFC Cup group stage with a 6-2 stunner over Hanoi Football Club of Vietnam at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Bienvenido Marañon and Francisco Rodriguez fired two goals each, while Kevin Ingreso and Jason De Jong added a conversion each for the Ceres-Negros, which tied Hanoi on top of Group G with eight points each.
To solidify its spot in the zonal semifinals, the Ceres-Negros will have to beat the Tampines Rovers of Singapore in their final elimination round assignment on May 3 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
The Ceres-Negros was aggressive early on Wednesday night with a penalty kick by Marañon followed by a conversion by Ingreso from 20 yards for a 2-0 score.
The Hanoi was able to pull one back before the halftime break on a goal by Pham Thanh Luong.
The Negros Occidental-based team continued scoring in the second half with back-to-back hits by Rodriguez, including a penalty from a red card by Hanoi’s Hoang Vu Samson, for a 4-1 advantage.
With less than 10 minutes in the game, the Hanoi pulled back one goal again with Do Hung Dung hit. The Ceres-Negros finished the match strong with back-to-back hits from Ingreso and De Jong.
“As I said before, everyone has the possibility to qualify, so we have now a home game and we have to fight for that. Now that we won, we have options in the last game,” said Ceres-Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic.
“In football, everything is possible, so you never know. Maybe when you expect a win, you draw. Maybe when you expect a draw, you lose. So you never know what’s gonna happen in football,” he added.
The Ceres-Negros needs to top its group after the double-round eliminations for it to advance in the zonal semifinals and play against the Asia zone winner. The winner will move up to the zonal finals./PN