Ceres-Negros arranged a repeat match against Singapore’s Home United in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone finals this August after a 2-3 second leg scoreline against Yangon United saw them progress via a 6-5 aggregate win at the Thuwunna Stadium in Myanmar last night.
The second leg had a thrilling finish with Yangon pushing for an aggregate tying goal deep in the match but the Busmen managed to hold on and earn the chance of defending their zonal title.
Yangon had a dream start in the second minute, when Kosuke Yamazaki blasted a ball to the far post to open the scoring for the Burmese squad.
Ceres-Negros responded quickly six minutes later when Manny Ott won a ball from Lin Aung and released it to Stephan Schrock, who beautifully returned the ball to Ott for the equalizer.
The visitors controlled the action in the remaining minutes but Yangon’ goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Htet was there to foil their attempts.
The scoreline remained 1-1 until the final minutes when Bienvenido Marañon scored in the 78th minute for the 2-1 lead. However, celebrations were cut short as the Spanish striker was shown a red card for confronting his defender three minutes later.
Distracted, Ceres failed to stop Yangon substitute Aee Soe from scoring in the 83 rd minute to tie the score then found themselves trailing 2-3 after Sekou Sylla converted a penalty in the 87th minute.
As the fourth official declared seven minutes of added time, Yangon’s efforts to further extend the match were thwarted as the Busmen escaped with the aggregate win.
“We played very good in the first half and controlled the game basically. But the second half was difficult,” Ceres Coach Risto Vidakovic said in the post-match press conference.
The Ceres Coach lauded his players for their performance and for giving their best for the chance to return to the ASEAN Finals.*
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