Ceres FC closes group
stage with 1-0 loss
By Paulo Loreto Lim
Despite already securing the top spot in Group G of the 2019 AFC Cup, Ceres-Negros FC sought to finish out the group stage undefeated. However, their final match against Becamex Bình Dương FC of Vietnam’s V.League 1 tarnished the Bacolod City-based club’s record as the Negrenses fell 1-0 last Wednesday before a home crowd at the Panaad Park and Stadium.
The match appeared headed for a scoreless draw until Becamex striker Wander Luiz, a Brazilian import, managed to get the ball past Ceres keeper Roland Müller in the 88th minute.
Despite a deadlock throughout a majority the match, Ceres dominated possession and nearly doubled their opponents in the number of passes, completing 549 to Becamex’ 278.
However, the Vietnamese outfit served up more shots on target, outpacing the Negrenses seven to three.
The win secured second place in the group for Becamex, which qualified them for the knockout stage after edging out Singapore Premier League club Tampines Rovers FC for best second place club of the group stage.
They, along with Ceres-Negros FC, advance to the ASEAN Zone semifinals.
The Negrense club faces another Vietnamese opponent, Hanoi FC, in their two-match series; while Becamex meets PSM Makassar of Indonesia’s Liga 1.
Ceres claimed the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal title in 2017 after defeating Singaporean club Home United FC in the finals./PLL, WDJ