Ceres-Negros FC opened their 2019 AFC Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over Shan United FC last February 26 at the Panaad Stadium. OJ Porteria topscored with a brace while Bienvenido added another. Zan Min Tun and Dway Ko Chit scored for the visitors.
The home team was dominant in the first half, controlling the pace and it took nineteen minutes for them to break the deadlock. A cutback pass from Jeffrey Christens bounced off two Ceres players before it fell to Porteria who blasted a left footer to make it 1-0.
The Myanmar side had their chance just after the hour mark from a Gustavo free kick but it was cleared by the Ceres defense. Minutes later Maranon raced through another through pass before he was brought down by Phone Min forcing the referee to point to the spot.
Maranon floated the ball dead center at the expense of the keeper who jumped to the wrong side to make it 2-0 for the Busmen. It was almost 3-0 in the 43rd minute when Stephan Schrock beat the keeper with a chip but if was a foot over the crossbar.
Ceres had two more chances in the dying minutes with a long distance attempt from Stephan Schrock but the keeper did well to parry the shot away. Kevin Ingreso found the back of the net after a corner but the assistant referee called an offside on the play.
The half ended with Ceres leading 2-0 over Shan.The second half was a different story as Shan fought back to earn a goal in the 57th. A good cross into the bo allowed Zan Min Tun to sneak in a snapshot to make things interesting.
Porteria had a chance a minute later from distance but Phone made a fine save to deny Ceres. The home side pushed for another goal but Shan was resilient to deny the hosts.
The Negros squad added another after a magical reverse pass from Schrock found Porteria who did good work of his defender before striking another left footer past the keeper to make it 3-1.
Things went from good to bad after the restart after a quick run saw the visitors scoring another goal. A quick run in the flanks resulted to a cross which bounced off a defender and into subsitute Dway Ko Chit who conveniently headed in to make it 3-2 in the 77th.
Four minutes were added on with Ceres barraging in the Shan box highlighted with an acrobatic shot from Schrock which went into the side netting. The referee blew the final whistle to secure the three points to the Philippine squad.
Ceres-Negros moved to temporary first place in Group G after Becamex Bin Duong and Persija Jakarta finished with a 0-0 draw. The busmen will face the Vietname squad on Match Day 2 in Bin Duong.