Ceres-Negros FC bows out of AFC Cup

Pape Omar Faye celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Hanoi. AFC
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

MANILA - The only remaining Filipino club in the AFC Cup, Ceres-Negros FC bowed out of the competition after losing to Hanoi FC of Vietnam, Tuesday night.

The Busmen's quest to make their third straight appearance at the ASEAN Zonal Finals of the tournament was spoiled by the hosts with a 3-2 aggregate score, with Hanoi enjoying the away goal advantage over Ceres after scoring an equaliser in Panaad Stadium in Bacolod a week ago.

The visitors were handed with an early yellow card as Team Captain Martin Steuble was caught with an infraction against Hanoi's Do Hung Dung 4 minutes into the game.

Steuble's infraction earned Hanoi a free kick, but the club failed to capitalise.

A few minutes later, the Ceres-Negros skipper was involved in a collision with Nguyen Thanh Chung that led Steuble to remain laying on the pitch in pain.

He was given medical assistance right on but was asked to move out of the pitch, leaving Ceres with only 10 men against Hanoi's 11.

Steuble was able to continue on to the game later on, only to be subbed off by Jeff Christiaens in the 14th minute

Over 16 minutes unto the game, Ngan Van Dai came attacking but Super was quick to keep the ball away from the goal. Hanoi earning a corner after that play but the ball missed the target.

Hanoi asked for a deflection on that play which Ngyuen Quang Hai made an attempt on the goal, they were given another corner.

Do Hung Dung's attempt off the corner goes wide and missed another opportunity to edge out their Filipino visitors.

At the 18th minute of the game, Hanoi again attempted to score a goal with a long range shot again coming from Do, but he still could not convert.

Th first half have seen a lot of chances on the Vietnamese side, without needing to feel the absence of their top gun - Ganiyu Oseni, who was ruled out of the game due to injury.

The end of the first 45 minutes of the game saw both teams still on a tie.

Second half saw a regrouped Ceres-Negros FC and a more determined Hanoi FC, both teams willing to break the tie.

Come the 59th minute, Pape Omar Faye found the back of the net to give the edge out to the home side.

Five minutes later, Ngyuen Van Quyet added the pressure on the visiting side by scoring the second goal of the night, giving Hanoi FC a peek into their ticket to the ASEAN Zone Final of the cup.

But Ceres won't retreat just like that.

Even at two goals down, the Filipino booters still tried to get the ball to find the back of the net.

Mike Ott was close to giving the Busmen a goal in the 75th minute, only that it found the top corner.

The 85th minute had been the last effort of Ceres to score a goal through Curt Dizon.

Hanoi FC advances to the ASEAN Final while Ceres goes home to focus on their rally at the Philippines Football League.

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