Matchday Six - Group F: Ceres Negros FC 0-2 Home United FC
Bacolod: Two late goals from Izzdin Shafiq and Song Ui-young earned Home United a hard-fought 2-0 win over Ceres-Negros on Wednesday and with it a spot in the 2018 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals.
The Filipino side knew just a draw at home would be enough to secure their spot in the knockout rounds, but they weren’t content with just sitting back for the point they needed.
Instead they dominated the proceedings in the first half, with the visitors pushed back deep to defend, but couldn’t find the key to unlock the Home United defence, with stars Stephan Schrock and Bienvenido Marañon guilty of wasting chances to give Risto Vidakovic’s side the lead.
That trend continued in the second half, with Marañon in particular proving to be incredibly wasteful in front of goal, while Rudy Khairullah also stood tall with a number of decisive saves.
Aidil Sharin’s side left their run late with Shafiq’s free-kick in the 80th minute going untouched into the back of the net to stun the home side, before Song converted from the spot in added time to seal the win for his side.
The win for Home United saw them jump Ceres-Negros into top spot in Group F on 13 points, equal with the Filipino side but ahead based on their head-to-head record. They can now look forward to a clash against Indonesian giants Persija Jakarta in the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals.
While the loss meant Ceres-Negros unbeaten campaign came to an end, there was a silver lining with the Filipino side going through to the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals as the best second placed team where they will meet Myanmar’s Yangon United.