AFTER failing to qualify to the AFC Champions League, Ceres-Negros FC begins its campaign in the 2019 AFC Cup as it plays host to Myanmar’s Shan United tonight at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Ceres-Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic said he is confident that they will perform better in the AFC Cup after assessing their mistakes during their 2-1 loss to Myanmar United in the first leg of AFC Champions League qualifier last month.
“The game (against Myanmar United) was uncomfortable for us as that was our first game as a team since September (during the Copa Paulino Alcantara),” Vidakovic said. “But that was not an excuse.”
“We have prepared for the AFC Cup and have made the necessary adjustments to perform better,” he added. “We expect another grinding match with both teams eyeing for maximum points in the opening day.”
Ceres-Negros and Shan United were too familiar with each other after battling thrice last year – first in the Champions League preliminary and in the AFC Cup group stage – all won by the Negrenses.
However, much has changed for the Shan United as it has strengthened their lineup with Brazilians in Maycon, Dedimar, and Hedipo Conceicao to correct their narrow losses from last year.
Ceres-Negros, meanwhile, added Bosnian Mahir Karic up front to reinforce their core and recent local signings in Jun Badelic, Dennis Villanueva, and Philippine Azkals mainstay Alvaro Silva.
The Ceres-Negros and Shan United match is slated at seven in the evening and is scheduled to be shown live at 5Plus channel and on cable TV via Fox Sports 2./PN