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Group G: Ceres Negros FC turn on the style against Bali United FC

Manila: Ceres Negros FC maintained their unbeaten start to their 2020 AFC Cup campaign on Wednesday as Risto Vidakovic’s side beat Bali United of Indonesia 4-0 in their Group G encounter at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila

Ceres took all three points as Bienvenido Maranon scored twice with OJ Porteria and Robert Lopez Mendy also on the scoresheet and the win moves the Philippine champions on to seven points from three games, three clear of second-placed Than Quang Ninh.

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Bali were looking to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC and the Indonesians pressed forward throughout the opening exchanges, with Stefano Lilipaly firing wide before Ceres Negros defender Super was forced to head the Indonesia international’s curling centre over his own crossbar.

Ceres rarely threatened in the opening 30 minutes, although Bali’s Ricky Fajrin almost headed into his own net when Hikaru Minegishi sent over a searching cross from the left that prompted the defender to take evasive action.

With 10 minutes left in the half the home side took the lead. Stephan Schrock’s tenacity was instrumental in his side’s opener, the Philippines international driving along the edge of the area before firing off a shot that Nadeo Argawinata could only parry. The ball fell at the feet of Porteria and he slammed his effort home.

Schrock was involved again early in the second half as the Busmen doubled their advantage. The Germany-born midfielder outpaced the visiting defence before being brought down by Willian Pacheco to win a penalty and Maranon made no mistake, slotting his spot-kick into the bottom corner beyond Nadeo.

The result was put beyond any doubt in the 69th minute when Schrock was again involved, this time sending over the corner from which Maranon headed past Nadeo from six yards out.

Lopez Mendy completed the scoring four minutes later after outpacing the Bali United defence before hitting a low drive beyond Nadeo and into the bottom corner to seal an empathic victory for Ceres.

The two teams will meet again in the reverse fixture on April 14.

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