Ceres Negros FC banked on Roland Muller’s superb save of Felda United FC’s Lucas Cano’s penalty kick to salvage a scoreless draw in their Group G match on Wednesday at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
That kept the host team on top of the team standings although it is now tied with Ha Noi FC with five points on 1-2-0 (win-draw-loss) record. The Bacolod City-based squad holds a one-point advantage on goal difference against the visiting team.
Ceres needed the heroics of Muller to deny the Malaysian aside of pulling off an upset.
The highly favored Ceres tried to dictate the tempo early on as Manny Ott found defender Manuel Herrera at the corner but his header sailed wide in the 10th minute of the match.
Felda United countered with its own attacks but Syahid Zaidon’s attempt in the 24th minute was easily caught by Muller.
Ceres was down one man before the break as wingback Junior Muñoz was stretchered off the pitch due to an injury.
Ceres got caught in the fast-paced attacks of its visitors with OJ Porteria conceding a penalty after fouling striker Norshahrul Talaha inside the box in the 60th minute.
The Argentine Cano took the spot kick for Felda United but his shot was well read by Muller, who made a diving save towards the right post.
Several attempts were mounted by each side toward the dying minutes of regulation but no shot found the back of the net until the final whistle.
The two teams will clash again on April 4 this time at the Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia.