Filipino clubs Global FC and Ceres Negros FC dominated their respective rivals to take the top spot in their groups in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup on Tuesday night.
Global FC took the top spot with a 2-0 win over Beoung Ket Angkor FC at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, giving them six points to lead Group F.
Meanwhile, Ceres ascended to the No. 1 spot in Group G with a 5-0 annihilation of the visiting Tampines Rovers FC of Singapore at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod for its first win against a draw for four points.
Global, the Philippine champion, rode on Paul Mulders’ brace in netting its second straight win.
The former Ceres standout silenced the 3,000-strong Cambodian crowd in the fifth minute of regulation with a half-volley shot from outside the box to take the 1-0 edge in the first half.
The Cambodian League club retaliated with a series of raids led by striker Sok Pheng but Global goalkeeper Patrick Deyto stepped up to deny their attempts.
Problems continued to fall on the home crew in the second half as their defense conceded a penalty after Global’s Shu Sasaki was tackled inside the box in the 64th minute.
Mulders stepped up to take the shot from the spot and converted at the bottom left corner to secure the easy win for the Filipino club.
Ceres also dished out an impressive win on Tuesday night as the Bacolod City powerhouse squad relied on the scoring prowess of Spanish midfielder Bienvenido Maranon, who scored a brace in their rout of the visitors.
Maranon began his scoring spree with a breakaway shot in the 25th minute and added another goal at the 64th minute off a long-range effort from the edge of the box.
Ceres newcomer Filipino-Australian winger Iain Ramsay opened the onslaught for the home team with a long shot just a minute after the opening whistle.
After Maranon doubled the lead, Azkal standout Manny Ott took on the defense with a goal of his own in the 38th minute to extend the lead to 3-0 before the break.
Ceres continued the rampage and forward Fernando Rodriguez of Spain, who joined the club early this year, flicked the ball to find the back of the net in the six-yard box in the 72nd minute.