Ceres-Negros rallies past Persija Jakarta in AFC Cup

Ceres-Negros FC’s Stephan Schrock battles a player from Persija Jakarta for the loose ball. AFC CUP

MANILA – Mike Ott scored a go-ahead header as Ceres-Negros FC completed its comeback from the deaths to score a 3-2 victory over Persija Jakarta in the 2019 AFC Cup group stage last night at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Down 2-0 midway in the second half, Ceres-Negros drew conversions from Miguel Tanton and Bienvenido Marañon to tie things round before Ott fired the marginal goal in injury time.

With the come-from-behind victory, the Busmen kept its untarnished slate of 4-0-0 win-loss-draw for 12 points and move closer to advancing to the zonal semifinals for the third straight year.

From a scoreless first half, Persija Jakarta found the back of the net on a header from Sandi Sute four minutes into the restart. It was followed by another hit by Bruno Matos at the 57th minute for a 2-0 edge.

Ceres-Negros began its run at the 70th minute with Tanton’s soaring free kick bounces into the top corner to trim the deficit to 1-2. Marañon then equaled things up with a header from a pass by Stephan Schrock.

The Negrenses got more chances to take the lead after that but became successful on the first minute of the injury time with Schrock founding Ott, who heads the ball for a 3-2 edge.

“It was hard work literally,” said Ott in a post-match interview. “To come back from 0-2 deficit is huge for us. This is a big morale boost for the team.”

With the defeat, the Persija Jakarta dropped to third place in the group with four points on one win, one draw and two losses endangering its hopes of making it to the next round with two games to spare./PN


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