Ceres Negros FC try to shrink a massive deficit when it battles FC Istiklol in the second leg of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Interzone semifinals tiff today at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
The Yellow Busmen seek to keep their historic AFC Cup run going as they host the Crowns in the deciding match at 7 p.m.
Istiklol took full advantage of its home turf as the Tajik champion trounced Ceres Negros, 4-0, in the first leg more than two weeks ago at the Hisor Central Stadium.
Despite having the larger chunk of ball possession, the Asean zone winner was only able to go for five shots, with a lone on-target attempt, while the Central Asian representative’s offensive arsenal was in full display.
The Tajikistan-based powerhouse club came up with 18 shots and converted four of its six on-target attempts.
Istiklol’s main man Manuchekr Dzhalilov blasted a second half brace in front of 13,800 home fans in the previous encounter.
Dzhalilov now looks to bring Istiklol closer to the AFC Cup trophy, which the Mukshin Mukhamadiev-mentored squad almost seized in 2015 following a runner-up finish.