With less-than-ideal preparations, Ceres-Negros looks to finish off Yangon United
YANGON—Ceres Negros looks to finish off Yangon United on Wednesday as the Busmen aim to book a return ticket to the AFC Cup Asean zonal finals at Thuwunna Stadium here.
Having beaten Yangon, 4-2, last week in the first leg at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, the Busmen, who won the Asean zone last year, hope to come out victorious in their third visit here this year as they go up against the Myanmar League leaders at 3:30 p.m. (5 p.m. in Manila).
The Busmen beat 2017 Myanmar champions Shan United twice here early this year. But Ceres arrived in Myanmar’s largest city and commercial center last Monday, just two days after losing to Kaya Iloilo in the Philippines Football League—a match that the club had requested to be postponed as it was focusing on this crucial AFC Cup clash. With an already compressed schedule this year, the PFL turned down the request.
“Preparation has been terrible,” said Ceres co-captain Martin Steuble. “The league and the federation didn’t help us with anything so tomorrow it will all be about how bad we want it and how bad we want to repeat the experience we had last year.”
A brace from Bienve Maranon in the first half put Ceres on its way to victory in the first leg but Yangon grabbed a lifeline when Sekou Sylla scored two away goals. Now, Yangon can advance on a 2-0 or a 3-1 win, but Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic believes his players won’t let that happen.
“The motivation to go to the final is there,” said Vidakovic. “I don’t have any doubts with my players because I know they will give 100 percent.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.