ASEAN Zonal Semi-final - 1st Leg: Ceres Negros FC 4-2 Yangon United FC
Bacolod City: Bienvenido Maranon struck a brace as Ceres Negros of the Philippines claimed a 4-2 victory over Myanmar’s Yangon United in the first leg of the 2018 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal semi-final at Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium on Wednesday.
Ceres were on top from the start and Manny Ott came close in the seventh minute when he curled a free-kick just wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Stephan Schrock could have opened the scoring just minutes later but shot over after being played through by Maranon, before Sekou Sylla fired wide down the other end midway through the half in a rare sight of goal for the visitors.
The hosts then took the lead in the 29th minute with a stunning effort from Spaniard Maranon, who raced on to a throughball from Manny Ott, looked up and lifted a delicate chip over the stranded goalkeeper Sann Sat Naing from the right side of the area.
Ceres went two up less than five minutes later when Mike Ott’s strike from distance was parried out by the Yangon custodian, only for midfielder Patrick Reichelt to be at the right place at the right time to finish from close in.
As half-time approached, Maranon tapped home his second from a yard out after Manny Ott’s corner from the right found its way to the forward at the back post.
Yangon threw themselves a lifeline when top scorer Sylla blasted into the roof of the net from 12 yards after being picked out by Kosuke Yamazaki 10 minutes after the restart.
But Ceres responded strongly as brothers Mike and Manny Ott both had efforts saved before defender Manuel Herrera headed in Manny Ott’s corner from the left just after the hour.
Sylla then scored his second of the night when he powered home from six yards after a goalmouth scramble with seven minutes remaining to keep Yangon in the tie.
Maranon almost claimed his hat-trick soon after, only to see his chip pushed on to the crossbar by Sann Sat Naing, but the Filipino side will take a two-goal advantage to Myanmar for the second leg next week.