Ceres-Negros tries to scale Home United wall in Singapore
SINGAPORE—With its title on the line, Ceres-Negros faces a daunting challenge of overcoming a team that it has yet to beat this year in the AFC Cup Asean zonal final on Wednesday night here.
Held to a 1-1 draw last week by Singapore’s Home United in the first leg in Bacolod City, the Busmen face another long night of figuring out ways to break down what has been an almost impenetrable defense by the Singaporeans at Jalan Besar Stadium here.
Ceres took the lead when Blake Powell scored an eighth minute penalty, but Home United grabbed a vital away goal at Panaad through Isaka Cernak, which meant that Ceres needs to score in the second leg.
A 1-0 win will be enough for the Busmen to win on aggregate, but a 2-2 draw will also mean the Bacolod side goes through on away goals. Another 1-1 result sends the game into extra time.
“It’s a final and nobody can expect an easy game,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic. “The players will give everything to win this game, to win the final, to get the title, and there are no doubts about that.”
Ceres made history last year when it beat Home over two legs in the zonal finals, but the second leg was played at Panaad where the Busmen scored a 2-0 victory.
But it has turned out to be a different scenario this year as Ceres remains in search of its first win against Home in five meetings this season.
Disciplined and well-drilled defensively, the Singapore club is one of the few teams that have stifled the Ceres attack, despite the Busmen owning plenty of possession in their matches.