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OJ Porteria's goal laid foundation for Ceres Negros win, says Vidakovic

Friday, March 13, 2020
OJ Porteira - CERES NEGROS FC (PHI) vs BALI UNITED FC (IDN) - AFC Cup 2020 (2)

Manila: Ceres Negros FC coach Risto Vidakovic hailed OJ Porteria’s opening goal as the turning point in his side’s resounding victory over Bali United FC on Wednesday as the Philippine Football League champions took control of Group G of the 2020 AFC Cup.

Porteria broke through the stubborn Bali defence in the 35th minute before Ceres went on to claim a comprehensive 4-0 win over the Indonesians that ensures Vidakovic’s side remain unbeaten in the group phase of the competition.

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“It’s always very hard to play when the opponents’ team is sitting so deep,” said Vidakovic. “The first goal was important to open it.

“Of course they should try to attack. At 1-0 they are losing the three points so they have to risk something and they open up a little bit and it was easier to score.”

Ceres took a single goal lead into the interval and a strong second half showing ensured the hosts cantered to a comfortable victory, with Bienvenido Maranon scoring twice - to make him the all time AFC Cup leading scorer - and Robert Lopez Mendy completing the rout late in the game.

“We just kept the same plan, moving the ball from side to side, keeping the possession and try to penetrate them from the side,” Vidakovic said of his team’s second half performance.

Group G: Ceres Negros FC 4-0 Bali United FC

“But it’s not easy from the beginning because they were fresh and they just started the game and defending deep.

“On this pitch it’s very hard to move the ball because it’s too slow, it’s bouncing too much. It’s hard for us to control the game but the players did what they could and they played a good game. We controlled it from the beginning and I think we deserved the win.”

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