The historic run in the AFC Champion League qualifiers was a confidence booster for Ceres-Negros FC as they start their campaign in the 2018 AFC Cup on Tuesday against Cambodia's Boeung Ket Angkor at the Panaad Park Stadium.
Ceres head coach Risto Vidakovic, who along with the entire Ceres team returned to Bacolod City yesterday, said playing against bigger and richer clubs in the Champions League was good experience for them.
“It showed us that we can compete against bigger teams and the players gave their everything as they represented the club, the province and the country,” Vidakovic said.
He said they are happy to back in Bacolod as they always enjoy playing at home and making the people of Negros happy.
The team was greeted at the airport by the drumbeaters and their fan group, the Ultra Ceres, who serenaded them with their original chants and songs.
“We hope it will continue to be like this…the next game is always the most important game and we will try to give our best,” Vidakovic said.
Playing the Boeung Ket Angkor for the first on Tuesday, the Ceres head coach said he considers them as “another team to play against” and as long as the Busmen stay serious and focused then they can have a good result.
Also in the group stage of the AFC Cup qualifiers is Global Cebu FC which will play against FLC Thanh Hoa of Vietnam today at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Global advanced to the ASEAN Zone semifinals last year but lost to Home United, 5-4 on aggregate.
Ceres won the ASEAN Zone championship by beating Home United, 3-2, on aggregate. Both teams are in Group F of the AFC Cup qualifiers this year along with Cambodia and Myanmar's Shan United.*NAB
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