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Preliminary Stage: Ceres Negros shine from the spot

Yangon: Ceres Negros of the Philippines beat Shan United FC 4-3 on penalties at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon on Tuesday to seal a place in the second stage of the AFC Champions League 2018 Qualifiers. 

Penalties were needed after the match ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of play. Ceres Negros will meet Australia's Brisbane Roar in the second stage of the preliminary round.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, the match burst into life in extra time with Cameroonian William Biassi Nyakwe scoring an own goal in the 94th minute to give 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal champions Ceres Negros the lead.

Myanmar National League champions Shan United, however, responded four minutes later with Ghanaian forward Patrick Asare equalising for them.

Ceres Negros, however, proved the better of the two teams from the penalty spot and will now face Brisbane Roar on January 23.

The Preliminary Stage 1 winners will join six clubs from the East and ASEAN Zones in the second stage of the qualifiers on January 23, which will feature Eastern SC from Hong Kong, Vietnam’s FLC Thanh Hoa, Thailand’s Muangthong United and Chiangrai United as well as Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta'zim and Brisbane Roar from Australia.

The four winners from the Preliminary Stage 2 phase will then have to battle some of the Continent’s biggest clubs, including two-time AFC Champions League winners Suwon Samsung Bluewings and last year’s semi-finalists Shanghai SIPG FC in the Play-off Stage on January 30. The Group Stage commences on February 12.