Ceres edge JDT after controversial penalty

Ceres defeated Johor Darul Ta’zim 2-1 in the second leg of their AFC Cup Zonal semi-final on Wednesday.

The win saw Ceres lock up the tie at 4-4, but the Philippine club advance thanks to the two goals they scored in Malaysia in the first leg. However, the clash was not without controversy, with a late penalty earning Ceres the victory.

Ceres were the first to strike in the 26th minute, with Kevin Ingreso’s powerful free kick was nudged on by Kota Kawase.

The match ebbed and flowed as both teams seemed reluctant to attack, with defence being order of the day.

But Johor would eventually level matters in the 65th minute, with Argentine striker Gabriel Guerra finding the back of the net.

The Malaysian outfit looked to have done enough to hold on for the draw – which would have seen JDT through to the next stage – but a controversial 94th minute penalty was awarded when a JDT player went down in the box, completely off the ball.

Fernando Rodriguez stepped up for the spot kick and made no mistake, sending the home crowd into raptures.

The match ended in acrimonious fashion as Farizal Malias received a straight red card for violent conduct as the former champions bowed out of the tournament.

Ceres advance to the Zonal finals, where they face Singapore’s Home United over two legs.