Ceres-Negros drew first blood in the first leg of the ASEAN Zone Semifinal beating Yangon United 4-2 last May 9, 2018 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Bienvenido Marañon finished with a brace while Patrick Reichelt and Manuel Super Herrera scored a goal apiece. Yangon’s Seikou Sylla had a brace of his own in the match.
Ceres-Negros had plenty of chances in the early from Stephan Schrock and Manny Ott but the home squad were off target for the early goal.
United retaliated minutes later with dangerous counterattacks but Sylla’s efforts were poor to keep it 0-0. Schrock had a good chance in the 20th minute but his unmarked header was over the bar.
Sylla broke away from the Ceres defense in the 22nd minute but Toni Doblas made a super save for the home squad. The former Global striker had another opportunity but his final pass was found wanting.
Ceres-Negros then started to dominate the first half and were rewarded in the 29th minute with a beauty from Marañon. The Spaniard chase a through ball from Ott and gloriously chipped over San Sat Naing with the ball landing at the back of the net.
The busmen would double the lead minutes later when Mike Ott whipped a shot from outside which the keeper blocked. Reichelt however was in the perfect spot to drill the rebound to send the home fans into a roar.
Doblas was again to the rescue on the 39th with a super save and it was beneficial in the end as Marañon slotted in a free ball off a corner to make it 3-0 for the Negros squad just a minute before halftime.
The Myanmar National League leaders came out firing in the second half with Sylla getting a goal back in the 55th minute. The striker waltzed around the box before unleashing one to the top corner to make it 3-1.
Ceres-Negros tried to regain the advantage minutes later but wonderful saves by Sat Naing on twin attempts from the Ott brothers kept the home team at bay.
The busmen were not denied in the 63rd minute when a Manny Ott cross was guided well by Super to make it 4-1.
Yangon tried to get another away goal and were rewarded in the 83rd minute. Sylla took advantage of space in the box to slot in their second in the match.
Ceres almost found the back of the net again but Marañon’s chip was tipped by the keeper and hit the crossbar. Manny Ott tried to score off the rebound but the Sat Naing again saved his team from conceding another.
The remaining minutes saw both teams charging for another but the match ended with Ceres-Negros earning the 4-2 win.
The Philippine Champions will now try to defend their two-goal advantage in next week’s return leg in Myanmar on May 16.
Yangon earned two crucial away goals and a 2-0 victory will be enough to see them through. Ceres will need to defend their advantage abroad where a draw will secure their return to the ASEAN Zone final.