Ceres confident despite draw
BACOLOD CITY—Hanoi may have left Panaad Stadium with a precious away goal after a 1-1 draw with Ceres-Negros on Tuesday night at the AFC Cup Asean zone semifinal, but the Busmen feel they’re more than capable of claiming a victory in the Vietnamese capital in the second leg next week.
Bienvenido Marañon handed the Busmen the advantage with a precise diving header in the 57th minute, but the visitors hit back—albeit in controversial fashion—through Omar Faye 10 minutes later, giving his side a slim lead heading into the return duel on Tuesday at Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi.
A goalless stalemate will not be enough for the Busmen, but a scoring draw with over two goals will send the Philippines Football League champions to the finals for the third straight season.
“We can’t concede in Vietnam but we know we have to score there,” said midfielder Stephan Schrock, who delivered the cross that was finished off by Marañon for a tournament-leading 10th goal. “Hanoi may be getting some confidence scoring the away goal, but like I said, we can score anytime and we will score there. We have a good cohesion within the team and I believe in our strengths.”
But the match was not without controversy as the Busmen insisted that Hanoi committed two infractions in the buildup to the goal.
First, two players were in an offside position when Doan Van Hau delivered the ball over the top to Nguyen Van Quyet, who actually handled the ball as he controlled the pass in the area. Omani referee Yaqoob Abdul Baki all waived off appeals from the Busmen, before Faye slipped the ball past Roland Muller to make it 1-1.