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Cebu cherishes maiden AFC Cup win after Macarthur, Davao losses


Just two years into its existence, Dynamic Herb Cebu has already enjoyed victory on the continental stage.

The Philippines Football League side defeated Myanmar’s Shan United 1-0 last Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to secure its first win in the 2023-2024 AFC Cup.

The victory revived Cebu’s hopes of advancing out of Group F. It also ended the trend of Filipino clubs losing in AFC competitions this season, whether in the AFC Cup or the 2023-2024 AFC Champions League.

“I made history for the team, so I’m so happy,” said Ken Murayama, whose 29th-minute goal gave Cebu the win.

“We talked about more quality, and we had to regroup. Today, we improved, and we got a big three points. Yeah, it’s nice.”

“Masaya po kami kasi nanalo po kami ngayon, at first win po namin sa AFC,” said defender Jaime Rosquillo. “Nakuha namin yung three points at sana po mag-training pa po kami nang maigi at mag-prepare sa November 5 going to Myanmar at makalaban namin sila.”

What made the victory all the more impressive for Cebu was that it was reeling from two painful defeats: an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of the Australian side Macarthur in Sydney in the AFC Cup, as well as a 1-0 upset by Davao Aguilas-UMAK in the first leg of the semi-finals of the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara.

The important thing after both losses was that Cebu had the mentality of wanting to bounce back. The team could have just laid down for Shan United, but it decided to put up a good fight, which provided an outstanding reward.

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“Of course, when you lose in Australia the way we did, it’s not a nice feeling,” said coach Joshua Schirmer. “And then we followed it up with another poor performance here against Davao. It was crunch time. It was time to show that we can play.

“I think the players reacted well and put in a good performance. It could have been better, but it’s good enough.”

Cebu now needs to build on this victory. It will face both Davao and Shan United in its next two matches.

Two wins are imperative for sustaining its newfound drive. Both opponents will present their challenges, but Cebu is looking forward to finding a way to get past them.

“Of course, it’s a much better feeling in the locker room after a win. Even in training, everything just feels better. People are just more excited to be there. Hopefully, this builds some momentum for the next matches, and we get the result that we need in the next game,” said Schirmer.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces


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