Matchday Three - Group F: Ceres Negros 2-0 Shan United
Bacolod City: Late goals from Patrick Reichelt and Bienvenido Maranon helped Ceres Negros of the Philippines claim a 2-0 victory over Myanmar’s Shan United to remain on top of Group F of the AFC Cup at Pana’ad Park and Football Stadium on Tuesday.
Ceres enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession from the beginning but it wasn’t until midway through the first half that they had a clear sight on goal, when Mike Ott broke into the area from the left before side-footing narrowly wide.
Shan forward Christopher Chizoba's effort from the edge of the area was gathered by 'keeper Toni Doblas on 36 minutes, before Ceres frontman Maranon came close soon after but saw his curler hit the side-netting.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Ceres’ Omid Nazari’s dipping free-kick from distance came down onto the roof of the net. Ceres continued to push for the opening goal after the restart and Kevin Ingreso drilled his shot from outside the box just wide as Shan held on.
It was beginning to look like it was not going to be the hosts’ night when an unmarked Maranon was off target with a header from six yards out after being teed up defender Manuel Herrera.
But the goal finally arrived with 11 minutes to play when Maranon fed Mike Ott, whose low delivery into the box was fumbled by goalkeeper Thiha Si Thu, before defender Hein Thiha Zaw made an even greater mess of clearing, allowing substitute Reichelt to finish from close in.
Ceres put the result beyond doubt when Mike Ott’s superb jinked run past three Shan defenders created space for him to roll the ball to Maranon, and the Spaniard made no mistake with the finish to put his side two up and round off the scoring.
Ceres and Shan will face off once more next week when the Filipino side travel to Yangon for Matchday Four of the AFC Cup.