Ceres blanks Shan United, keeps top spot in AFC Cup | Inquirer Sports
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Ceres blanks Shan United, keeps top spot in AFC Cup

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 10:02 PM March 06, 2018

Bienve Maranon was on target anew for Ceres Negros. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Mymy Alagaban

BACOLOD CITY – Substitute Patrick Reichelt and Bienvenido Maranon found the back of the net in the second half as reigning ASEAN zone champion Ceres Negros turned back Shan United of Myanmar, 2-0, last Tuesday night to keep top spot in Group F of the AFC Cup at Panaad Stadium.

Hardly given space in the attacking third for most of the clash, the Busmen’s persistence was finally rewarded via Reichelt’s 79th minute goal, before a moment of brilliance from Mike Ott set up Maranon for the second goal that finally sealed maximum points for the hosts.

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“It’s not easy to play teams that are dedicated at defending, but the effort was good and of course the players gave everything,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic.

“But there’s a lot of things we have to improve. We have to be more patient when we build up. But the most important thing is that we got the goal and did not concede any goal.”

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The Busmen jacked up their tally to seven points from three matches, three clear of Singapore’s Home United, which suffered a 2-3 loss to Boeung Ket in Cambodia last Tuesday night. Shan and Boeung Ket have three points each, but the Myanmar champions are ahead on goal difference.

Only the top team in the group is guaranteed of a spot in the ASEAN zone semifinals.

Ceres dominated the first half, but can’t seem to find a way against a stubborn Shan United defense, which proved equal to the hosts’ every attack early on.

The first clear chance came in the 18th minute when Stephan Schrock laid the ball off for Maranon, who turned, but had his effort deflected to the path of Shan goalkeeper Su Ya Thi. Six minutes later, Ott skipped past a challenge, but rifled his effort into the side netting.

On 38 minutes, Maranon found himself unmarked inside the area after good play from Takumi Uesato and Schrock, but the Spanish striker inexplicably missed the target.

In need of some invention and dynamism, Vidakovic sent in Junior Munoz and Reichelt for Uesato and Sean Kane as the Busmen reverted to their usual formation with Omid Nazari now at central defense with Carlie De Murga and Super Herrera at left back.

Munoz proved lively going forward, while Reichelt was a constant threat on the right. But the visitors continued to frustrate Ceres in front of 4230 home fans.

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The Busmen piled up the pressure and on 73 minutes, nearly found the opener when Maranon was left unmarked inside the six yard box on a free kick but his inexplicably headed wide.

Reichelt finally scored after Thiha Zau’s clearance bounced off the post, allowing the substitute to slide
home from a tough angle.

It was 2-0 four minutes later, this time with Mike Ott’s pace and trickery on the left allowing Maranon to slot home as the Busmen finished with a flourish.

“They deserved the win,” said Shan United coach Soe Myat Min. “My players gave all out effort, but they made two mistakes in the second half and in those mistakes we conceded two goals. We can learn from this (loss).”

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TAGS: afc cup, Bienvenido Marañon, Patrick Reichelt, Sports
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