CERES Negros FC remained the AFC Cup Group G leader despite finishing a 2-all draw against Vietnam’s Than Quang Ninh last Tuesday night in the front of the thousands in attendance at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
The Philippine champions, currently with 4 points after 2 outings, came out with a solid start in the first 25 minutes as they took control of the game.
However, Than Quang Ninh’s striker Jeremie Lynch beaten the Busmen defenders including keeper Ronald Muller for the opening goal in the 26th minutes.
Ceres FC striker Bienvenido Maranon canceled out Lynch’s goal with a penalty in the 45’(+3) for a 1-all even at the half.
Both teams tried to break the deadlock in the second half as OJ Porteria and Marañon orchestrated several Busmen offensives. Manny Ott also got his chance to give Ceres FC the comfortable lead following a set piece from Marañon but his shot hit the crossbar.
But, despite some unsuccessful attempts, Porteria kept his composure until he got the opportunity to sink Busmen’s second goal in the 62nd minute off a Marañon pass.
However, Nguyen Hai Huy found a space in a scramble inside the box for the equalizer in the 70th minute.
In the post-match interview, Lynch said that it was a good game for his team. “We came here (in Manila) to fight for the point. We know that there are good teams in this competition,” he said.
Meanwhile, despite the result, Porteria stressed that he is obviously happy with how the team played hard throughout the game. “But, we are obviously unhappy with the draw because we wanted to win this game in front of our home crowd,” stressed the Busmen wingman.
Risto Vidakovic, on the other hand, admitted that they didn’t play well today. “It’s not the way we normally play. We are too slow which we don’t usually do,” he said. “Some of the players didn’t give their best but, we will see in the next game,” he added.