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Negros causes huge ACL shock down under, sinks lethargic Brisbane to set up playoff with Tianjin

Move over Big Mac. Bienve Marañón fired a brace to put Ceres Negros on the cusp of an ACL appearance. Adriann Vasquez/Dugout Philippines (file)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--The AFC Champions League dream is still alive for PFL champions Ceres Negros after pulling the biggest upset of the year, sending the A-League's Brisbane Roar packing in the second preliminary tie on Tuesday night, 3-2 in the QE2 Stadium in Queensland's capital.

Bacolod's finest Busmen have come from a goal down early in the first half to claim a massive scalp in the former three-time A-League kings, in whom they slaughter Global Cebu for six unanswered strikes last year en route to their ACL appearance.

Bienvenido Marañón scored in both halves to bag a brace to write another chapter in Pinoy club football history, booking their flight to China where they will face Tianjin Quanjian next week for a spot in Group E along with K-League Jeonbuk and Hong Kong league champions Kitchee.

The Spaniard cancelled out Massimo Maccarone's 35th minute opener eight minutes later on a goalmouth scramble to level the tie at the break.

Then it was all Ceres Negros in the second half as their enterprising play, coupled by the lethargic defending by the hosts, scored twice in a ten minute span to score a massive upset.

Marañón scored on a counter to take the lead for good in the 65th minute, then Omid Nazari finished the Roar with a shot to the far post in the 75th.

Eric Bautheac pulled one back with three minutes left but the home side are left reeling to their worst continental stint this year, adding more insult to their disastrous domestic campaign where they are three points adrift of Western Sydney who holds the final spot in their own finals series.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada