Group G: Becamex Binh Duong 1-3 Ceres Negros FC
Thu Dau Mot: Bienvenido Maranon’s hat-trick gave Ceres Negros a 3-1 victory over Becamex Binh Duong on Matchday Two of the 2019 AFC Cup Group G on Tuesday.
Ceres made the early running and Binh Duong goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong had to be alert to catch a flashing header from Maranon in the eighth minute.
The hosts responded when Victor Mansaray danced passed two challenges near the goal-line, cut inside and fired a shot into the side netting.
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But Ceres opened the scoring with a bizarre goal in the 26th minute. Tan Truong was too casual in possession in the Binh Duong penalty area when Maranon dispossessed him and tapped into an empty net.
Veniamin Shumeyko fired over from a corner as the home side battled back and Binh Duong almost levelled when To Van Vu fired wide from 18 yards in the 41st minute.
Van Vu had another decent effort saved as Binh Duong tried to impose themselves at the start of the second half.
At the other end, Maranon reminded the hosts of his threat as his snapshot was well held by Tan Truong.
Play was now swinging from end to end and Dinh Hoang Max’s low cross from the left drifted agonisingly wide as the game approached the hour mark.
Ceres goalkeeper Roland Muller kept his side in front when he tipped over from Mansaray’s point-blank effort. And Muller was at his best again when he pushed Nguyen Anh Duc’s 20-yard shot wide.
Binh Duong’s pressure paid off when they equalised in the 73rd minute. Nguyen Anh Tai’s deep cross to the far post was fed back across goal by Shumeyko and Wander Luiz brilliantly hooked the ball in on the volley.
Remarkably, the home side switched off and almost immediately Stephan Schrock crossed from the left and Maranon nudged the ball home from inside six-yard box.
In the 78th minute, Maranon completed his hat-trick when he side-footed into the net from OJ Porteria’s cut-back.
Wander Luiz curled a brilliant shot off the post with five minutes remaining but Binh Duong could not stage a late comeback.
Ceres now sit two points clear at the top of Group G ahead of their match at home to second-placed Persija Jakarta on Matchday Three. Becamex Binh Duong will be desperate for their first win of the campaign when they travel to Myanmar to face Shan United.
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