Ceres Negros FC crashed out early in the 20th RHB Singapore Cup following a sorry 0-1 defeat to Hougang United FC on Tuesday night at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.
Ceres Negros failed to stop French-Italian forward Antoine Viterale from scoring the lone goal as the Filipino side was sent packing just in the preliminary round.
Despite the team’s situation heading into the match, Ceres head coach Risto Vidakovic lauded his men’s performance.
“We are not prepared for this game but we came here to play and give everything. I’m very proud of the players that they gave everything for this game,” said the Serbian mentor, whose team finished third place in the annual tourney last year.
Both clubs went on a searing start as Stephan Shrock and OJ Porteria saw openings for Ceres while Delvinder Singh and Nazrul Nazari led the charge for Hougang.
The Negrenses attempted to mount the pressure following a scoreless first half but Luke Woodland committed a clearance mistake, allowing an unmarked 20-year old Viterale to beat goalkeeper Michael Casas in the 78th minute.
The Busmen will try to regain their form when they host Kaya FC-Makati in the Philippines Football League on Saturday at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.