Ceres Negros FC with an endgame blitz trounced Shan United FC of Myanmar, 2-0, solidifying its hold of their group’s top spot in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2018 Asean zone on Tuesday night at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Patrick Reichelt and Bienvenido Marañon exploited the cracks in their foes’ defense and scored goals late as the Yellow Busmen stayed atop Group F with seven points on two wins and a draw.
“At the end, we had the patience. They dedicated their time on defending. It was a tough game for us,” said Ceres head coach Risto Vidakovic. Ceres rediscovered its winning form following a 1-1 draw with Home United FC of Singapore in the previous match.
“We have to work much more on our aggression and possession. We have to improve a lot of things from today’s game,” added the Serbian tactician.
Ceres Negros moved three markers clear of second-running Home United, which absorbed a 1-3 stunner to Boeung Ket FC of Cambodia.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of ball possession, the defending Asean zone champion toiled in earning maximum points anew with the Burmese titlist’s formidable backline.
Vidakovic brought in Reichelt and Junior Muñoz for Takumi Uesato and Sean Kane, after a scoreless first half.
The tactical change paid off as Reichelt finally scored in the 79th minute capitalizing on Thiha Zhaw’s errant clearance that bounced off the post.
Four minutes later, Mike Ott weaved his magic dishing out a fine pass to an unmarked Marañon, who fired past a stunned goalkeeper Thiha Sit Thu much to the delight of the 4,294 home fans.
The Shan Warriors suffered their second setback and remained at No. 3 with three points, only ahead of Boeung Ket on goal difference.