Ceres-Negros are now one win away from qualifying for the 2018 AFC Champions League after stunning Brisbane Roar 3-2 in Tuesday’s second preliminary round qualifier.
It initially looked as though Ceres were in for a difficult night at the QSAC after the A-League outfit were handed a 35th-minute lead when Massimo Maccarone converted a Brett Holman cross.
However, Bienvenido Maranon equalised for the Philippine champions when he capitalised on a goalmouth scramble to score two minutes before halftime, and then and struck again with a fine curling effort past Jamie Young in the 65th minute.
More sloppy defending by the Roar, as they failed to adequately deal with a corner, lead to Omid Nazari adding a third for the visitors from inside the six-yard box ten minutes later.
And, while Eric Bautheac did well to pull one back for Brisbane in the 86th minute, it proved to be too little too late as they fell to a shock defeat which ends their hopes of continental football for a second consecutive season.
— Brisbane Roar (@brisbaneroar) January 23, 2018
Meanwhile, Ceres now face Chinese giants Tianjin Quanjian next Tuesday knowing that a win will be enough to send them into Group E, where Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Kitchee await them, along with another playoff qualifier.