Three-time Philippine champions Ceres-Negros were simply too incisive, too clinical, and too determined to dust off any hangover from their 2020 AFC Champions League exit.
In front of over 4,000 supporters, on Tuesday evening at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Ceres-Negros Football Club tallied a 4-0 victory over Cambodia’s Svay Rieng.
The result gives the Busmen three points to kickstart their campaign in Group G alongside Bali United, which also enjoyed a handsome victory over Vietnam’s Than Quang Ninh.
Risto Vidakovic’s men took an early lead when Takeshi Odawara struck past opposition goalie Aim Sovannarath in the 12th minute. Ceres then did not wait long to double its lead. Joshua Grommen got the credit for the goal from Stephan Schrock’s pass two minutes later.
The home side’s momentum in the final third carried over to its backline. Veteran stopper Roland Muller denied Thiago dos Santos’ penalty near the half-hour mark, which was awarded to the visitors because of a foul from Grommen.
With a two-goal cushion at the break, Ceres pounded Svay Rieng’s backline further to add to its tally. Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon was the main culprit this time around. His two fine finishes in the 55th and 70th minutes — the latter of which came from an OJ Porteria assist — capped off a wonderful evening for the Bacolod-based club and its supporters.
Ceres shall look continue its winning ways in the competition against Than Quang Ninh on February 25, 2020, 7:30 PM, at the same venue.
Ceres-Negros XI: Muller (GK), Kane, Grommen, Maranon, Ott, Odawara, Porteria, Schrock ©, Villanueva, Minegishi, Lopez Mendy.
Svay Rieng XI: Visal ©, Mony Udom, Privat, Phallin, Krya, Samnang, Narath (GK), Daisuke, Thiago, Sovann, Campbell.