Ceres-Negros FC conquered host Brisbane Roar, 3-2, last night at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Stadium in Queensland, Australia to be the first Philippine football club to move closer to the Playoffs of the AFC Champions League.
After falling behind 0-1 in 35 th minute, Spanish forward BienvenidoMarañon scored the equalized in 43 rd for a 1-1 scoreline at halftime.
Marañon struck again in 65 th minute to give the Filipino side the lead while Omid Nazari doubled the margin 10 minutes later.
Eric Bautehac tried to revive Brisbane's hopes with a late goal but Ceres' defense held on for the win. The Busmen will face Tianjin Quanjian of the Chinese Super League next Tuesday in the Play-off Round in Tianjin, China.
Ceres' historic run in the preliminaries of the AFC Champions League was hailed by Negros Occidental and Bacolod City officials, who expressed their pride in the accomplishment of the young football club.
“I congratulate the Ceres FC for the team's triumph against the Brisbane Roar in the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League in Australia. It's still a long way but today's victory by the Negrenses is history setting,” Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said in a text message sent to the DAILY STAR.
He said the victory against the A-League team, Brisbane Roar, is doubly rewarding as the team carries not only the Negros Occidental colors but the Philippine flag as well.
“Hoping that your feat will inspire other young Negrenses to take up sports and also bring more honors to the Province and the country in the future,” the governor added.
For Bacolod City Mayor EvelioLeonardia, Ceres' victory against Brisbane Roar is a validation that Bacolod and Negros Occidental is the football capital of the Philippines.
“This is an outstanding feat as the Ceres Negros FC just became the first Philippine football club to have reached this far in the prestigious AFC Champions' League.I join my fellow Bacoleñosin congratulating our team,” Leonardia said.
For Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta Jr., Ceres' achievement last night “shows the competitive ability of Philippine football clubs.”
Sports patron Oscar “Dodong” Bascon, who has been following Ceres-Negros steady climb to national football history, said he is proud of the team and its owner, Leo Rey Yanson, for the latest accomplishment.
“This will not be possible without the full support from the management. This is a great thing for Philippine football and for Bacolod City and Negros Occidental,” Bascon said.*NAB
back to top