Ceres-Negros and Kaya Iloilo’s latest assignments in the group stage of the AFC Cup were mixed, thanks to a win and draw respectively.
Ceres-Negros defeated Indonesia’s Bali United, 4-0 in Group G action at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium last March 11.
Bienvenido Maranon penalty kick found the back of the net in the 54th minute and scored in the 69th minute for a brace. OJ Porteria put Ceres-Negros onboard in the 35th minute before the brace of Maranon and Robert Lopez Mendy put the icing in the cake with a goal in 73rd minute.
“It was not an easy game but I think after the first goal things opened up for us. We got better chances and went for them,” said Ceres-Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic via BusinessWorld.
Maranon is also happy on the result of the game after the club took the leadership of Group G table with seven points, creating separation against Vietnam’s Than Quang Ninh, which occupied the second spot with four points.
“We feel so happy. So happy because we got the three points. We deserved to win this game. We played really well. In the beginning, it was really difficult. We are not used to playing this humid. It’s too hot here, but after 25 minutes we controlled the game and we deserved the win,” said Maranon via Tiebreaker Times.
Maranon and team captain Stephan Schrock are sad the match is held behind closed doors but understand the decision of the organizers to hold the match without spectators due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the Philippines.
“If everybody (else) is taking care of this (COVID spread), then we have to take care of it also,” Maranon said via ESPN 5.
“As much as we would have loved to play in front of our fans, we understand that this is a global concern,” Schock quoted in an article of Inquirer.net said.“It’s not ideal because you play for the fans to enjoy, but the safety of everyone is more important than a football game.”
Meanwhile, another Philippine club competing in the tournament, Kaya Iloilo settled into a 1-1 draw against Indonesia’s PSM Makassar in Group H action last March 10th at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Osas Saha scored for PSM Makassar in the 22nd minute but Eric Giganto answered back for Kaya Iloilo in the 50th minute for 1-1 scoreline with both teams failed to score until the final whistle.
“We’re disappointed we couldn’t get the win, but it’s still a draw away from home. We’re still undefeated, and we will look to win our match against them at home,” said Kaya Iloilo head coach Oliver Colina via BusinessWorld.
Kaya Iloilo team captain Jovin Bedic is happy with the performance of his club in their away match but disappointed on the result.
“I think we really did well away from home, but at the end of the day, we didn’t beat these guys. I think we’ll just prepare back home, and hope we get those three points back,” Bedic said via ESPN 5.
Kaya Iloilo occupied the second spot in Group H with five points, after Singapore’s Tampines Rovers got the leadership of the group with seven points, thanks to their win against Myanmar’s Shan United.
Like the Ceres-Negros – Bali United game, the match between Kaya Iloilo and PSM Makassar was also played in closed doors due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concern.
Kaya Iloilo will battle again PSM Makassar on April 15th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium while Ceres-Negros will be the visitor on their clash against Bali United at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Bali, Indonesia on April 14th.