Ceres-Negros FC bowed to an inspired Felda United side in a 3-0 in Shah Alam last April 5, but Coach Risto Vidakovic is still upbeat on his players and his teams’ chances in qualifying. Talking to reporters after the match in Malaysia, the Serbian-born Spanish coach shared his thoughts on the match and the days ahead for his club.
“Today (April 5th),I think felda was a better team. They scored a good goal in the beginning of the game so for us we have to change the plans because we started practically from the beginning with with one goal down so it was very difficult. We planned something different to make a long game but they scored very early so it was very hard for us. I think that was the key for the rest of the game,” said the Ceres Coach.
After being quizzed on the absence of several starters, Coach Vidakovic still put his confidence on the quality of his team. “I think everyone knows that we played with both midfield players today not in the usual lineup. Nothing changed because we have other players that can play there and I think if we see the two goals it was very hard. Because the two shots were very good, practically impossible for the goalkeeper especially the second goal. The second goal killed us definitely so we stopped to play and i think all the emotions (left) after the second goal.”
“As I said before the game everyone has the possibility to qualify. so we have now a home game and we have to fight for that. so if we win, then we have options in the last game,” said Vidakovic after he was asked about the preparations for the remaining games.
When asked if the qualification will be decided on the final day, the Spanish coach had one thing to say. “Maybe. Can be. In football everything is possible so you never know. Maybe when you expect a win, you draw. Maybe when you expect a draw, you lose. So you never know whats gonna happen in football.”
The top three teams are currently within three points of each other with Ceres in third place with five points. They are tied in points and goal difference with Felda but are in third because of the head-to head tiebreaker. Hanoi FC is on top with eight points after a last minute win against Tampines in Singapore. The Busmen will face the group leaders at home on April 19th with the match tagged as a must win for the hosts. They will also face Tampines in Singapore in May 5th for the last group stage match in the AFC Cup.
Photo from Ivan Gayares