Philippine Football League sides Ceres Negros FC and Global Cebu FC were on opposite ends in their AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal semifinals held over the week with only one team advancing to the zonal finals.
Last 31 May, Ceres Negros claimed a famous 2-1 victory over Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta’zim at the Panaad Stadium to advance to the zonal finals through away goals.
Ceres went ahead in the 26th minute from a Kota Kawase strike. Kevin Ingreso provided the assist for the defender from the free kick. Johor scored the equalizer in the 65th minute from a Gabriel Guerra goal.
With time running out, Ceres won a penalty after Fernando Rodriguez was fouled inside the box. The forward took the penalty and scored to send Ceres to the zonal finals.
It was a different match in Singapore as Global Cebu sadly bowed out of the tournament following a heartbreaking 2-3 loss against Home United last Tuesday 30 May.
Goals from Germaine Agustien and Shu Sasaki already put Global 2-1 ahead early in the second half, but two late goals from Stipe Plazibat, the second one right before full-time, ended Global’s run in the AFC Cup.
Ceres will face Home United in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal finals this August.
PFF General-Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes hailed the successes by both clubs in the AFC Cup.
“Both Ceres Negros and Global Cebu have shown that Philippine club football is on the ascendancy. Though we only have one team in the zonal finals, we are proud of what they have achieved.”
The Philippines Football League now takes center stage with Ceres Negros FC taking on Global Cebu this Saturday, 3 June, 4:00 PM at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.