By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
HAD a winning debut in the 2019 AFC Cup, top local football club Ceres-Negros FC is now focusing on getting its second win in group play in an away match today against Becamex Binh Duong of Vietnam.
Currently leading Group G, Ceres tries to stay on top of the heap as it battles Becamex at its home turf at 7 p.m.
The “Busmen” are coming off a tough 3-2 victory over Shan United of Myanmar in Bacolod City on Feb. 26 where it hung tough all the way to the end, helped by a brace from OJ Porteria, to secure the win.
Midfielder Porteria got the scoring going for Ceres against Shan United, slamming a seven-yarder in the 19th minute for the 1-0 lead.
Forward Bienvenido Maranon then made it 2-0 for Ceres in the 37th minute off a spot kick.
But Shan United would not go down without a fight, narrowing its deficit, 2-1, five minutes into the second half care of midfielder Zin Min Tun.
The visitors tried to claw their way back some more after only to find Mr. Porteria stomping on their thrust with his second goal in the 87th minute, converting on a pass from teammate Stephan Schrock to make it 3-1.
A minute later substitute Dway Ko Ko Chit infused life back into Shan United’s thrust with a goal.
No comeback though came for the Myanmar team as Ceres put its foot down for the remainder of regulation and the four-minute added time and held on for the victory.
While they were victorious in their AFC Cup opener, Ceres recognized that it was still far from the form where it wants to be in and is looking to make up for it in today’s game.
“We analyzed the game and saw the mistakes we made. The coach showed us what to do better. Day in and day out, we’re working on it and we try to avoid doing the same mistakes moving forward,” team captain Martin Steuble was quoted as saying by the official Ceres Web site as in the lead-up.
Waiting for Ceres at its home of Go Dau Stadium is Becamex, which is coming into the game off a 0-0 draw with Persija Jakarta of Indonesia last time around.
The Ceres-Becamex match will be shown live over free TV via 5 Plus and the 5 Plus Website. It will be also shown on premium cable channel FOX Sports 2.