Group G: Ceres Negros FC 1-0 Persija Jakarta
Bacolod City: Bienvenido Marañon's ninth minute strike ensured Ceres Negros stayed perfect as they defeated Persija Jakarta 1-0 in a 2019 AFC Cup Group G match on Wednesday.
With two points separating the two teams after the first two matches, the home side made the perfect start when Spaniard Marañon headed home from Martin Steuble’s inch perfect cross in just the ninth minute.
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With the early momentum going their way, Risto Vidaković’s side went about adding to their tally and they came close five minutes later with Mike Ott seei nghis effort saved, before Marañon’s shot was blocked shortly after.
The visitors should’ve gone into half time level, but with three minutes remaining in the half Bambang Pamungkas somehow missed from close range after a perfect cross across goal from Rizki Ramdani Lestaluhu.
The home side looked to repeat their early goal in the second half and came close to doubling their lead when Kevin Ingreso’s left-footed effort from the edge of the area hit the woodwork.
The Indonesians pushed hard for an equaliser, with Rohit Chand’s header just after the hour mark easily saved by Roland Müller the closest they came to getting back in the game.
At the other end Ceres Negros continued to push for the second goal to give them some breathing space, and but for a reflex save by Andritany Ardhiyasa with his feet midfielder Stephan Schrock would’ve done just that with 20 minutes remaining, while OJ Porteria had a great chance a minute later but couldn’t connect with Mike Ott’s cross at the back post.
Persija Jakarta now face a must-win game in the return leg in three weeks if they are to have any chance of finishing first in the group and progressing to the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals.
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