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Ceres Negros to try luck vs Port in ACL prelims

OJ Porteria scored for Ceres Negros' third goal vs Shan United.
By Gil Mar Moriones

MANILA, Philippines - After their narrow win against Shan United of Myanmar last Tuesday, the PFL and Copa Paulino Alcantara champions Ceres Negros FC will test their desire and versatility as they battle against Thai League 1 Elite finishers, Port FC in the continuation of 2020 AFC Champions League Preliminary Round, Tuesday night in Bangkok.

The Busmen need to overcome a very strong opponent as the footers playing for Thailand War Elephants including Tanaboon Kesarat and Adisak Kraisorn, and naturalized Brazilian player Heberty will lead the Port FC.

Also, this will be the reunion between the Busmen and its former captain playing for opposite team, Martin Steuble.

Without any previous meetings, Vidakovic assured that they will have to make a good game in Bangkok.

"It's important to make good game tomorrow to see how far we came", he said.

Unfortunately, he still admitted that team is not yet a hundred percent ready after getting traumatized by the scary two late goals from Shan United way back at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

"Obviously, we aren't prepared a hundred percent. Not yet," Vidakovic admitted in their recent pre-match press conference on Monday.

Port FC confidently said that they will closely monitor Bienvinido MaraƱon and Robert Lopez Mendy as they play both offense and defense.

The game will commence at 7 p.m., Philippine Standard Time.

Defense should strengthen

The two goals and three straight on-target attempts in the second half by Shan United were enough to discuss an issue in defensive matters.

As Port FC is loaded by War Elephant cadets, the Busmen should play more defensively unlike how they played late in their soil.

"They are a very good team because they have very good players, so we have to defend much stronger", Vidakovic promised during their pre-match conference.

Ceres Negros needs to prove much better

The Philippines sits in 13th place in the latest AFC Club Rankings, being the best movers during a span from 2015-2019. They also second behind Thailand.

As Ceres will bring strong caliber players such as Azkals Stephan Shrock, Mike Ott and Carli De Murga, the club is expected to give a good game against the unfamiliar foe from Thailand.

Tokyo FC awaits the winner of the said match in the last stage for the slot in AFC Champions League finals. Virtually, if they win against Port of Thailand, they will win as top contender in ASEAN.
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Chart of ASEAN Countries and their club's performances from 2015-2019. AFC

Follow him on Twitter: @GilMoriones