Ceres-Negros advances to Asean zonal semifinals despite loss to Home United
BACOLOD CITY—Ceres-Negros advanced to the Asean zonal semifinals of the AFC Cup for the second straight year despite a 0-2 defeat to Home United of Singapore on Wednesday night at Panaad Stadium here.
The Busmen conceded both goals in the second half as they suffered their first home loss in the competition in three years.
Still, the Bacolod-based side reached the knockout stage as the best second placed team among the three Southeast Asian groups in the tournament after finishing with 13 points from six matches.
Home also ended up with 13 points, but advanced as the top team owing to a superior head to head record.
The result meant that the Busmen will be matched up with Myanmar’s Yangon United in the semifinals, while Home will be up against Persija Jakarta of Indonesia.
Ceres will host the first leg on May 9 with the second leg set in Yangon on May 16.
Even with Takumi Uesato and Kevin Ingreso sidelined by injuries and Manny Ott rested, the Busmen still dominated possession, but were left undone by some poor finishing.
Omid Nazari rattled the bar with a free kick as early as the seventh minute, even as Home stood firm the rest of the way to shut out Ceres, which failed to score for the first time in the tournament.
It was Ceres’ first loss in almost three months with the Busmen’s last defeat coming against Tianjin Quanjian in the AFC Champions League qualifying round in January.
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