MANILA, Philippines — Amid heavy downpour brought about by tropical depression Basyang, Ceres Negros FC rained goals on hapless Cambodian rival Boeung Ket, 9-0, to start its quest in the AFC Cup on a fiery note Tuesday night at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod.
Takumi Uesato (15’, 22’), Bienvenido Marañon (19’, 29’) and OJ Porteria (31’, 85’) each fired a brace to set the tone for the nine-goal romp that matched the AFC Cup’s record for biggest victory first registered by Uzbek side Nasaf Qarsi over Indian outfit Dempo in the 2011 group stage.
Captain Carli de Murga (64’) and Manny Ott (81’) rounded out scoring against an overmatched opponent whose miserable night was marred by a crazy own goal by sub Sovanrithy, who headed Patrick Reichelt’s cross into Boeung’s own net in the 58th minute.
“I did not expect this high score before the game but the team went out there to fight,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic. “They took the game seriously and even with a 5-0 lead in the first half, they kept fighting in the second half.”
The reigning AFC Cup Asean zonal titlist will resume their bid in Group F with an away game on Feb. 27 against S-League side Home United in Singapore.
“We have to keep working. This is just the beginning. I’m sure other clubs are much stronger,” said Vidakovic.
The Busmen, who came off a historic campaign in the AFC Champions League Qualifiers where they went as far as the playoff stage, immediately imposed their will against the visitors and racked up five goals in the first 31 minutes. They didn’t ease on the pedal and were rewarded with the comprehensive win.
“I think we have to have this mentality to win. Even if we’re winning, we have to keep working, fighting, (maintaining) the same intensity for 90 minutes,” said the Ceres mentor, who had the luxury of subbing Stephan Schrock, who was nursing a bum stomach but still played well, before the halftime break.