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Bacolod City: Ceres Negros were crowned AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions after first-half goals from Jose Porteria and Manuel Ott helped the Filipino club defeat Singapore's Home United 2-0 in the second leg of the ASEAN Zonal Final on Wednesday and book a date with Tajikistan's FC Istikol in the Inter-Zone Semi-finals following a 3-2 aggregate victory. 

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, the Filipino side opened the scoring in the second minute at Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium when Iain Ramsay crossed for Porteria to volley home from six yards, before Fernando Rodriguez missed from the spot on 14 minutes after Abdil Qaiyyim handled another Ramsay centre.

A dominant Ceres added a second three minutes before the interval when Ott curled a delightful free-kick into the top left corner to put the hosts in the driving seat for the first time in the contest.

Ceres then sat back more after the restart but Home United struggled to create any chances of note and Ott could have added a third with 10 minutes remaining when he fired just wide from 25 yards.

Stipe Plazibat struck the top of the woodwork for the visitors soon after as Home United pressed for the goal that would have forced extra-time, but Ceres held out to ensure it is they who will travel to Dushanbe to face 2015 AFC Cup runners-up Istiklol in the first leg of the Inter-Zone Semi-finals in two weeks’ time.

 

Photos: Lagardère Sports