BACOLOD City – Ceres-Negros FC did not have a good ending in the 2019 AFC Cup group stage after suffering a 1-0 loss to Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong at the Panaad Park and Stadium here.
The defeat on Wednesday night, however, won’t have bearing on the Negros Occidental-based football club’s ASEAN Zonal semi-finals stint as they top Group G with 15 points on five victories as against to a lone defeat.
Ceres-Negros had a chance to connect early but Bienvenido Marañon’s attempt was deflected by the defense.
Jose Elmer Porteria also had a try but it went straight to Becamex goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong.
Becamex surged ahead two minutes from the time as Brazilian forward Wander Luiz unleashed a speculative effort from the right flank, which sailed past Ceres-Negros keeper Roland Muller.
With the victory, Becamex finished at second place in the group with 13 points and will advanced to the next round of the competition as the “best second place team” in the group stage.
Ceres-Negros will have a lengthy break before beginning its two-leg ASEAN zonal semifinals campaign against Hanoi Football Club, which emerged as the top team from Group F.
The Bacolod-based club will host the first leg on June 18, 2019 at the Panaad Stadium while the second leg shall be played exactly a week later at the Hang Day Stadium in Vietnam./PN