The first leg of the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final kicks off tomorrow in Singapore with the Home United hosting Ceres Negros FC.
In an interview with the AFC Cup media that was posted at the AFC Cup website, Home United top scorer Stipe Plazibat and his counterpart Bienvenido Marañon of Ceres, expressed their thoughts and views of the two-legged finals that will determine the best team in the ASEAN region.
The 27-year-old Croatian player of the Home United has seven goals to his credit in this season of the AFC Cup while Marañon, 31, tallied eight goals.
Asked on how they feel as the match draws near, Plazibat said that he is excited, motivated and “can't wait to get out on the pitch.”
Equally eager for the match to start, Marañon, said he considers the ASEAN Zone Final of the AFC Cup as the “most important game that I will play in during my two years wearing the Ceres shirt.”
On his 8-goal production since the start of the season, Marañon attributed this to the change in their play as he has been given the opportunity to play his preferred positions, as a striker or behind the striker. The change he said has been reflected on the pitch both in the AFC Cup and the domestic league.
Plazibat, on the other hand, said he can not explain the 7-goal he scored this season but he feels the fire within and he hopes to stay in that mode. He added that his favorite goal was the free-kick winner he scored against Global that delivered Home United to the Zonal final.
Marañón said his favorite goal was when he scored against Johor Darul Ta'zim in Malaysia “because it was against the best team in the competition, in their stadium, and I hit it really well from outside of the area.”
On the preparation of their teams for the Zoanl Finals, Plazibat said that Home United are coming off a match in the S. League and he is shifting his focus from that match to the game against Ceres tomorrow. He said it is “training as usual” for the Singapore finalist.
For the Busmen, Marañon said “the match is something special, two games that we know we need to be focused on from the very first minute until the last. One slip could see us eliminated, so we're preparing very hard to avoid that. It's the most important game in the history of our club, and we're all aware of that.”*
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