AFC Cup 2016 - Round of 16
|May 24, 2016||7:00 PM||AFC Cup||2016|
|Panaad Park and Stadium|
|Acacia St, Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines|
Ceres-La Salle FC stumbled against South China in the second half of extra time 1-0 last May 24 at the Panaad Stadium. Luiz Carlos scored the winner in the 107th minute cancelling out Ceres’ second half revival and bringing his team to the quarterfinals.
South China was in full confidence in the early going as they had the first shot on goal in the 3rd minute from Law Hiu Chiung. Law intercepted a weak clearance with his shot which went straight to Casas. The visitors were getting dangerous chances from corners and long throws from Chan Siu Ki, but the Ceres defense was equal to the attempts.
It took a good ten minutes before the home squad got some sense of control in the match. Patrick Reichelt recovered a blunder from goalkeeper Tsang Man Fai but his cross into space was cleared by Bojan Malisic. Mahanma Awal was fouled on the edge of the penalty box but the succeeding free kick hit the wasll and out. Ceres had a good chance when a quick throw in allowed Shrocky to pass the Bienve but his shot was sliced out.
The rest of the action was a chess match past the hour mark where both teams fought for possession in the middle of the half. Ceres got their first chance in the 35th minute when a short free kick on the left allowed Stephan Shrock to unleash a free kick towards Reichelt whose header was saved by Tsang. The half ended 0-0 with both teams not getting any clear chances.
The home squad started the second half on fire after getting more chances than the first half. Reichelt got a header in the 46th minute but the ball was wide. Bienvenido Maranon got the best chance in the 51st when a series of passes fell into him in the box only to see his chip tapped out by the keeper. Ceres got a series of half chances after but all were blocked. South China had a dangerous chance two minutes later when a cross was headed across the face of the Ceres goal but the home side was lucky as none of the visitors were close enough to tap it in.
Manny Ott had a golden chance for the lead in the 58th but his curling free kick was cleared to the goal line by Leung Chun Pong. Moments later Tsang palmed away a Ceres corner towards Carli de Murga whose rocket of a volley was headed out by the defense. De Murga had another chance at glory in the 61st but his shot to the second post was wide. The visitors had a golden chance in the 68th after the towering Chan got a header in but a diving save by Michael Casas maintained the scoreline.
The Busmen had a chance in the 80th when a Martin Steuble long ball was met by a Adri header but the keeper was there to collect. The Hong Kong squad became dangerous after with Chan getting a header that went over the bar and Law’s left footed shot was saved by Casas. Reichelt would issue a cross into the box but his attempt was well collected. Casas knee’d out danger in the 90th minute when Chan charged in the box. The referee whistled full time leading the match to extra time.
Ceres went guns ablazing in the first half of extra time starting with Manny Ott shooting from twenty-five yards. Maranon tried to swing a cross moments later but the ball was collected well by the keeper. The first half of extra time still ended with a 0-0 score. South China took the lead after the restart when a Law cross was headed back by Mahama Awal to Carlos who had enough space and blasted the ball into the Ceres net. Sang Min Kim had the best chance to equalize but his header was wide. South China went on to clinch the win and a place in the next round.
“We controlled the tempo in the second half, we had good chances. We didn’t capitalize (on) those goals. They were a lot. It so happened that a single mistake (happened), that we couldn’t avoid that its really a part of the game”, said Ceres Coach Frank Muescan. “They capitalized on that mistake and converted it into a goal. For us its a part of the game, were very confident that on the other games we can do a lot better. Because we can see that were almost there. we almost scored a goal, we have a lot a chances but were so unlucky tonight. This is football,” he added.
Though the result wasn’t in favor of home squad they can take solace in the fact that they have made Philippine Club football history by being the first club to top the AFC Group stages and qualify for the Round of 16. Ceres will now set their sights on the RHB Singapore Cup where they will face Garena Young Lions of Singapore on May 29 in the city state.
Photo from Stephen Tan (@odds888)