Ceres Negros crowned AFC Cup ASEAN champions

Ceres Negros beat Home United 2-0 (3-2 agg) to win the ASEAN Zone Final at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod on Wednesday.

The visiting Home United arrived in the Philippines off the back of a 2-1 win last week, but a superb display in goal from Ceres stopper Roland Muller kept the visitors scoreless.

The home side enjoyed a dream start to the fixture, scoring in just the second minute. Iain Ramsay would set up Jose Porteria, who powered the ball home into the top right corner, giving Home United stopper Hassan Sunny no chance.

Ceres had a chance to double their lead when Home United defender Abdil Qaiyyim was handled the ball in the penalty area just ten minutes later. However, striker Fernando would send the resulting penalty over the crossbar.

But reward would come for Ceres Negroes from consistent pressure after a free-kick. Midfielder Manuel Ott struck a superb free-kick from 30-yards out, finding the top right corner to double the home side lead in the 42nd minute.

With Home United desperately needing a goal to draw level on aggregate and force extra time, the Singaporeans pressed forward.

But Ceres goalkeeper Roland Muller was equal to the task, making five important saves, including this one from a Stipe Plazibat screamer.

Ceres held on to earn a memorable win as they keep their hopes of a maiden AFC Cup title alive. The Philippine outfit now travel to Dushanbe in Tajikistan to face Istiklol on 22 August.

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