Ceres Negros crashes out of AFC Cup after defeat to Hanoi
HANOI – Filipino club Ceres Negros crashed out of the AFC Cup after losing to Vietnam’s Hanoi, 2-3, in aggreggate in the Asean zone semifinal at Hang Day Stadium here.
The Busmen fought their way back into the game after going two goals down early in the second half, but Curt Dizon’s late strike was all that they could muster as Hanoi hung on for a 2-1 victory in the second leg last Tuesday night.
Alvaro Silva saw his goalbound effort blocked with just seconds remaining, ending Ceres’ hope of making the zonal final for the third straight season. A Silva goal could have made it 2-2 on the night and gave Ceres the advantage on away goals.
Much like in the 1-1 draw at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod last week, Hanoi’s opening goal was marred by controversy as Nguyen Van Quyet appeared to have been in an offside position beforw he found Omar Faye to make it 1-0.
Still demoralized from Faye’s goal, the Busmen conceded anew with Van Quyet slamming a rebound to the roof of the net after the hosts recovered a sloppy pass at the back.
Ceres found another gear with the introduction of Dizon who replaced top scorer Bienve Marañon. It was Stephan Schrock who created the opening for Dizon who did well to control a short pass inside the area before firing past Van Cong with six minutes remaining.
The Busmen pushed more men forward and Mike Ott nearly made it 2-2 with Van Cong up to the task on his shot.
It was another heartbreaking ending for a campaign that started brightly. Ceres won its first five games in the group stage but lost to Becamex Binh Duong in their final group match setting the stage for a duel with Hanoi in the semifinals.
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