Kuala Lumpur: Bienvenido Marañón's brace in Ceres Negros' 4-0 victory over Bali United on Wednesday not only helped the Filipino side to three points, it also saw the Spaniard leapfrog Jordanian Mahmoud Shelbaieh to become the competition's all-time leading scorer on 35 goals.
Having begun the 2020 tournament on 30 goals, last year's top scorer wasted no time in picking up where he left off, with two goals in an opening-day victory over Cambodia's Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC, before a penalty against Vietnam's Than Quang Ninh saw him move within a goal of former Al Wehdat striker Shelbaieh.
Marañón's double against Bali saw the prolific striker move into pole position and there will likely be many more to follow if he continues in this form. The-AFC.com looks back at his achievement, as well as those of the iconic AFC Cup scorers who the 33-year-old has overtaken in recent years.
Yangon United's Than Paing 'thrilled' at first AFC Cup goal
Yangon: Than Paing expressed his delight at netting the winning goal as Yangon United defeated Singapore's Hougang United 1-0 in Group F of the 2020 AFC Cup on Tuesday to make it seven points from three games for the Myanmar side.
Hosts Yangon went into the game at Thuwunna Stadium on the back of a draw against Ho Chi Minh City FC and a win over Lao Toyota FC, and they were by far the better side throughout but missed numerous gilt-edged chances as Hougang sought to hold on for a point.
However, as the match entered its final 10 minutes, Yangon finally broke the deadlock as Maung Maung Lwin played in substitute Than Paing, who produced a calm finish into the bottom left corner with his first-ever goal in the AFC Cup as the home team claimed what could prove a valuable victory.
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.
Group F: Ho Chi Minh City FC's Xuan Nam sinks Lao Toyota FC
Vientiane: Substitute Nguyen Xuan Nam scored twice as Ho Chi Minh City FC eventually saw off a stubborn Lao Toyota FC to seal a 2-0 win at the National Stadium in Vientiane in Group F of the 2020 AFC Cup on Tuesday.
Xuan Nam netted twice in the final 18 minutes to ensure a frustrating evening for Ho Chi Minh City ended with all three points going back to Vietnam despite a series of missed opportunities for Jeong Hae-seong’s side to wrap up the win much earlier.
Yangon: A 1-0 win over Singapore's Hougang United took unbeaten Yangon United into pole position in Group F, behind Ho Chi Minh City FC of Vietnam on goal difference at the midway point of the 2020 AFC Cup group stage.
In terms of scoreline, it looked a close affair at Thuwunna Stadium on Tuesday.
But although Than Paing's close-range finish with nine minutes to go was the tie's only goal, the reality is that this was a match that the hosts controlled for long spells and could － and should － have scored more.
Singapore: Daniel Bennett was full of praise for Tampines Rovers' second-half display after the Singaporean side overcame first-half difficulties to post a 2-1 victory against Myanmar’s Shan United on Tuesday and move top of the Group H standings.
In testing conditions at Jurong West Stadium, neither side was able to break the deadlock in a goalless first half, before a close-range header from Boris Kiptovic and a Jordan Webb tap-in put Tampines firmly in control after the interval.
Shan netted a consolation in stoppage time but it was too little, too late as the hosts claimed all three points to move two points clear of Indonesia’s PSM Makassar at the Group H summit.