Ceres-Negros see off Yangon United in six-goal thriller

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Ceres-Negros moved one step closer to retaining their AFC Cup ASEAN Zone crown after claiming a 4-2 win over Yangon United in the first leg of their semi-final.

The prolific Bienvenido Maranon got the Busmen on their way at the Panaad Park and Stadium in the 29th minute, as he ran onto Manny Ott’s through-pass before sending a sublime lob over Sann Sat Naing.

Just four minutes later, Patrick Reichelt doubled their lead when he squeezed a shot in at the near post on the rebound, after Mike Ott’s initial rasping drive had been parried by Sann Sat Naing.

A third goal arrived for the hosts a minute before halftime when Maranon made no mistake in firing the ball over the line from a yard out after Manny Ott’s corner had been deflected into his path, and it looked at that point that the result was a foregone conclusion.

But ten minutes into the second half, Yangon pulled one back courtesy of a clever effort from Sekou Sylla, who created a yard of space for himself inside the area before blasting a shot into the top corner.

Ceres restored their three-goal cushion three minutes after the hour mark when Manuel Herrera did well to climb high and meet another set-piece delivery from Manny Ott with a towering header into the back of the net.

Nonetheless, the visitors hit back again with seven minutes remaining; Uzochukwu Emmanuel barging off a couple of challenges and forcing the ball to Sylla, who planted a first-time finish into the back of the net to keep his side alive ahead of next week’s second leg in Myanmar.

CERES-NEGROS: Toni Doblas, Junior Munoz, Carli de Murga, Manuel Herrera, Martin Steuble, Manny Ott, Omid Nazari, Patrick Reichelt (Kevin Ingreso 79’), Stephan Schrock, Mike Ott (OJ Porteria 74’), Bienvenido Maranon.

YANGON UNITED: Sann Sat Naing, Nan Wai Min, Kekere Moukailou, Thein Zaw (Pyae Phyo Zaw 66’), Min Kyaw Khant, Maung Maung Lwin, Yan Aung Kyaw (Yan Lin Aung 46’), Kosuke Uchida, Kyaw Zin Oo (Kyi Lin 76’), Uzochukwu Emmanuel, Sekou Sylla.