AFC Cup: Pinoy clubs produce flurry of goals in two big wins
Magwe 2, Global-Cebu 4
With Misagh Bahadoran out with an injured MCL, Global relied on their foreign stars to provide the firepower on Wednesday, April 19, with Trinidadian striker Darryl Roberts scoring two goals in as many minutes late in the match, while Shu Sasaki and Filipino Japanese winger Hikaru Minegishi added one apiece.
But it was far from a routine victory.
The hosts trotted out an all-Myanmar side without any foreign reinforcements. Global pressured them early on, with Dennis Villanueva coming close with two chances in quick succession.
But the Myanmar outfit stuck first with Kyaw Naing Naing finishing neatly into the bottom corner in the 38th minute.
Global coach Toshiaki Imai made two half time changes, withdrawing Paul Mulders and Germaine Agustien in favor of Paolo Salenga and Marco Casambre. The latter took his position at left back, pushing Matt Hartmann up to left wing.
The early second half was characterized by plenty of suspicious-looking injuries by the home team and a yellow card by Hartmann, his second of the campaign that disqualifies him from Global's final group game on May 3 against Boeung Ket Angkor.
But the Magwe defense finally succumbed in the 71st minute with Minegishi gathering a rebound off a Hartmann shot and volleying sensationally for 1-1.
Eleven minutes later Roberts supplied the go-ahead goal on a fine breakaway after a Shu Sasaki headed pass. Roberts then made it a two goal cushion about 120 seconds later with a smooth first-time finish off an excellent low center from Casambre, who just barely kept the ball from reaching the byline.
In the 89th minute Sasaki pilfered the ball from Kyaw Swar Lin and scooped over goalie Kyaw Zin Phyo for 4-1. The Burmese squad picked up an injury time consolation as Naing Lin Tun smuggled a free kick from an acute angle past goalie Pat Deyto.
Global can finish top of Group F with a win against the Cambodian side on May 3. That would put them in the knockout stage. With the group second-placer Johor Darul Ta'zim defeating Boeung Ket Angkor 3-0 on Wednesday, it will be a tight race for the group top spot, which is the only sure route to the playoffs. Global are at 12 points with JDT at 10.
Ceres turned on the attacking flair and delighted the Panaad Stadium crowd with a huge victory over a Vietnamese powerhouse on Wednesday night.
Two goals apiece from Fernando Rodriguez and Bienve Marañon plus strikes from Kevin Ingreso and Jason de Jong put Ceres-Negros back into the thick of the chase for the Group G crown.
Coming on the heels of a disappointing 3-0 loss at Felda United a few weeks back, the victory will Ceres fans much to cheer about.
The home team began the scoring when Marañon was felled inside the box by Hanoi's Tran Van Quien. Marañon scored the ensuing penalty in the 13th minute, chipping down the middle of the goal as goalie Nguyen Van Cong dove to his left.
Ingreso then fired in a powerful outside-of-the box left footer to double the lead minutes later.
But that cushion was short-lived as Hanoi captain Pham Thanh Luong caressed in a free kick off the inside of the near post in the 25th minute.
9 minutes after the restart Rodriguez collected a ball off Manny Ott then looped in from outside the box for 3-1.
The visitors were reduced to ten men at around the hour mark when Nigerian-born Hoang Vu Samson was given his marching orders after punching Ceres centerback Kota Kawase. Samson had only been on the pitch for a few minutes.
Ceres exploited the numerical advantage by going 4-1 up thanks to Rodriguez's second off a delicate pass from OJ Porteria midway through the second half.
Five minutes from time Do Hung Dung pulled one back for Hanoi with a dubiously won penalty, but as the visitors wilted in the heat and humidity, late finishes by De Jong and Marañon added the final bits of gloss to the scoreline.
Ceres are level with the Vietnamese club at 8 points. Only the top side in the group is sure to progress, as not all second place teams will qualify for the knockout stage. Tampines Rovers gave Ceres a huge assist by defeating Felda United 3-1 on Wednesday, preventing a three-team logjam at the top at eight points. Rovers goes to 6 points while Felda stays at 5.
The Bacolod-based club concludes the group stage with a match against Tampines in Singapore on May 3. – Rappler.com