Dynamic Herb Cebu’s debut on the international stage did not go to plan, as they lost 0-3 to Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Crown in the 2023-2024 AFC Cup group stage Thursday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Philippines Football League side conceded the opener in the 42nd minute when Phnom Penh forward Shimizu Shintaro headed the ball home past goalkeeper Ace Villanueva.
Come the second half, the visitors doubled their lead in the 54th minute. Skipper Orn Chanpolin unleashed a powerful effort to seal the win. Andres Nieto then capped off the rout with a goal in the 83rd minute.
“I’m happy with the performance,” said Cebu coach Joshua Schirmer. “Some of our players have never played at this level before and now they see what this is all about. Some raised their game, some need to learn to raise their game even higher for the next games because we don’t expect the opposition to get any bigger.”
“As far as the first experience at this level, I’m quite pleased with that but, again, we needed to win and we didn’t do that so not the perfect night we’d hope for.”
The result meant that Phnom Penh earned 3 points and a goal difference of +3 in Group F. The other match of the group saw Australian side Macarthur FC clinch an identical result — 0-3 away win against Myanmar’s Shan United.
Both teams will return to action on October 5. Phnom Penh will host Shan United while Cebu will travel to Australia to face Macarthur FC.
Cebu XI: Okuda, Gadia, Uzoka Tasci (C), Togashi, Corsame Jr, Hama, Villanueva (GK), Dabao III, Demiroglu, Kore.
Phnom Penh XI: Soe Moe Kyaw, Takaki, Yudai, Muslim, Chanpolin (C), Nieto, Baraing, Shintaro, Vichet, Denilson, Chanchav.