Ceres-Negros aims for Group F lead in Home United rematch
MANILA, Philippines – After opening their AFC Cup campaign with a 9-0 drubbing of Boueng Ket Angkor (BKA) FC , Ceres-Negros FC looks to continue their explosive start vs Singapore's Home United for their first away game on Tuesday, February 27.
This will be a rematch of the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal finals where Ceres-Negros was crowned ASEAN Zone champions, winning on a 3-2 aggregate in Pana-ad Park and Stadium.
It definitely won't be as easy for the Busmen as Home United was able to win the first of the two-legged ASEAN Zonal finals series, 2-1, in Singapore.
Ceres will be banking on their experience in the 2018 AFC Champions League and the new additions to their team, including Takumi Uesato who scored a brace against BKA last February 13.
"Ceres has the advantage because they have played more games than us. They played the qualifier in the champions league. We do respect Ceres because they are a good team. They are good players. But for us I think we have prepared well," said Home United head coach Aidil Sharin.
Despite edging out the rest with a +9 goal difference, a win by Ceres would put them on top of Group G.
"It's the second game in the group stage and it is always important. I expect, as always, a tough game because everyone wants to win. They (Home United) play at home. Of course they need the points like us and I think it will be a big fight tomorrow," said Ceres head coach Risto Vidakovic.
Ceres-Negros co-captain Martin Steuble was present in the press conference and will be included again in the lineup after being sidelined due to an injury in 2017. The Fil-Swiss midfielder will be suiting up for match whether as a starter or a substitute available for Vidakovic to use.
From watching the team clinch the inaugural PFL title to making into the 3rd round of the AFC Champions League preliminaries, Steuble feels the confidence of his team which may play a big factor in their performance on Tuesday.
"We had a very good game in our first game, great result. Of course that boosts our confidence. But also the games before we had against high ranked teams. We were able to perform really really well so I think the spirit of the team is very high and were full of confidence," said Steuble.
"Of course we know about the strengths of Home United and we will respect [it], but of course we will go out there and compete and try to get the 3 points here in Singapore."
Ceres-Negros will square off against Home United at 7:30pm, Jalen Besar Stadium in Singapore. – Rappler.com