Match Report: Felda United 3-0 Ceres-Negros

Ceres-Negros FC bowed to a superior Felda United side losing 0-3 away at the Shah Alam stadium last April 4, 2017. Syadin Zaidon, Hadin Azman, and Fazrul Hazli scored a goal apiece to bring the Malaysian back back into contention in the AFC Cup.

Ceres-Negros started the match on the wrong foot allowing a goal in the 6th minute care of a wonder strike from Syahid Zaidon. Hadin Azman collected the ball on top of the box releasing the ball to a rushing Syahid who struck and inch perfect ball to the top right corner for the 1-0 lead. The visitors almost came down by two goals when Zah Krangar forced a one-on-one with Roland Muller but the shot stopper produced a wonderful save to maintain the scoreline.

The Negros squad produced a good chance in the 11th with a Bienvenido Maranon shot inside the box but Mootaz Jonaidi was there for block. Argentine Gaston Cellerino would find himself alone after receiving a free kick from Krangar but his flick went over the bar. Ceres would get their first shot when Fernando Rodriguez struck from the edge of the box in the 25th minute. His shot forced Farizal Harun to full stretch for Ceres’ best chance in the half.

It was all Felda just before the hour mark when a chance from Syahid off a free kick went slightly over the bar in the 28th. The home squad had another chance on goal but Norsharul’s layoff was wasted after Cellerino shot poorly from point blank. Moments later a cross sent in by Norsharul was cleared by Super Herrera but a succeeding follow up was collected by Muller. The Malaysians would get another good chance in the 42nd after Cellerino broke the offside trap, issuing a cutback to Zah Krangar who uncharacteristically shoots wide in front of goal. The half finished with Felda on top by a solitary goal.

Ceres would find some sense of form early in the second half. OJ Porteria conjured a chance in the 51st preceded a well worked effort between Maranon, Junior Munoz, and Ramsay whose rocket of a shot was tapped over by Farizal. A corner in the 53rd by Martin Steuble allowed Carli de Murga a header but the shot was collected easily. Maranon would find himself near the near post in the 57th but his intended pass to the center was deflected by the defender towards the keeper.

The Bacolod-based squad would be in the defensive when Felda pounced on the momentum shift in the hour mark. Jeff Christaens nullified a dangerous final pass to Cellerino while Muller had to punch out a dangerous corner moments later. Maranon took a shot in the 63rd from the edge of the box but it went straight to Farizal. Felda’s efforts would be repaid in the 61st when Hadin took a shot off a clearance towards the top corner beyonds Muller’s reach to make it 2-0.

The visitors would get twin chances later when a well worked cross by by Maranon was headed wide by Ramsay. Rodriguez would miss a golden chance to score after a poor chance was made after a Munoz cross. Things went from bad to worse when a ball from a corner slipped through Muller’s hands allowing the substitute Fazrul Hazli to pounce on the third Felda goal. The Philippine squad would manage another chance but Fernando’s effort was saved well be Farizal. After the final whistle, Felda went on to claim its first win in the AFC cup with the score of 3-0.

Felda’s victory pushed them to second place after tying Ceres on points and goal difference. They edged out the Philippine club in the head-to-head tiebreaker. The loss makes it difficult for the Bacolod club to qualify as it forces them to win the last two matches and hope for a favorable result from the others. Ceres will play Hanoi on a do-or-die game on the 19th before proceeding to their final group game against Tampines in Singapore on May the 5th.

Photo from the AFC Cup/Lagardere Sports

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