AFTER defeating Myanmar’s Shan United, 4-3 on penalty after a 1-1 regulation for the AFC Champions League Qualifiers, Ceres Negros FC is gearing up for its next match against Brisbane Roar at the QSAC Stadium in Queensland, Australia on January 23.
“We are still not prepared for this kind of matches,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic, following Tuesday’s face-off against the hardfighting Myanmar National League champions at the Taunggyi Stadium.
“The team responded good and they gave everything today and after 120 minutes, It think we deserve it,” he added.
“We only had four days of training but every time we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent the Philippines so we are thinking first of finding solutions and this is what we did. We followed the game plan, we were controlling the game most of the time, had most chances, and it resulted to a good start to the season,” said Ceres captain Carli de Murga, who was also named the Man of the match.
The win gave the Busmen a ticket to travel to Australia for the AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage 2.
Stephan Schrock felt proud of his team’s achievement by winning over Shan despite the long flight and travel to Myanmar.
“The Myanmar team has already been in two and half months training and have two formal games already. We are just happy and proud to survive and advance to the next round,” the Fil-German midfielder said after the match.
Recently-signed Mike Ott also shared the same happiness and fulfillment after the hard-earned victory.
De Murga said they have lots of work to do.
“We will return to Bacolod to prepare for our next match,” he said.
Both sides played great football in the first 90 minutes of play, but time was not enough to seal the win either way thus the extra time.
In the 92nd minute, Manny Ott got a chance to break the first goal, but his shot went over the crossbar.
Schrock then curled the ball from outside the box in the 94th minute slightly hitting Shan United’s defender William Nyakwe which changed the direction of the ball before it went in.
The celebration was short-lived for Ceres Negros, however, as Shan’s forward Patrick Asare got a perfect angle at the edge of the box to beat Toni Doblas for the equalizer in the 99th minute.
Schrock got another chance to pull another goal but his 20-yard free kick went straight to Shan’s keeper Thina Si Thu.
Ceres FC has some big goal opportunities in the latter minutes but attempts from Schrock, Ott and OJ Porteria went off targets.
After both clubs ended to one-all even at the end of extra time, the game went to penalty shootout.
Shan’s Chizoba Iyikwobe and Nyakwe failed to convert their respective attempts while Ceres FC was perfect with De Murga, Schrock, Mike Ott and Bienvenido Marañon.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on January 18, 2018.
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