|Stephan Schrock got a consolation of sorts as Man of the Match even if it was not Ceres Negros' night. AFC|
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong
MANILA - Vietnamese squad Than Quang Ninh surprised Ceres-Negros FC in their AFC Cup match on Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with a 2-2 draw.
Jermie Lynch scored the opening goal of the match in the 26th minute, taking advantage of a defensive error by Roland Müller.
The following minute, Stephan Schröck attempted to score an equalizer off a free kick but was too strong to find the back of the net.
Manny Ott likewise tried to give Ceres an equalizer but to no avail as he overshot the attempt.
Lynch would have scored his brace at the 38th minute only to be given a yellow card for continuing his attempt despite the offside call.
The elusive equalizer for the Busmen came to reality a few seconds shy of the halftime break as Bienvenido Marañon scored the penalty kick given up by the visiting squad.
In the second half, Ceres created more chances with Sean Kane, Ott and Schröck trying to connect their attempts, but it was OJ Porteria who succeeded a decent shot on goal in the 62nd minute that took the Busmen at the helm.
The Vietnamese side were not scathed by the slim 2-1 lead of the Filipino booters as they used their height to their advantage to score the 69th minute goal from a free kick. Ngyuen Hai Hung was at the right place to find a crack that sent the ball straight unto the goal.
"The result is a draw but it's okay. I think we were able to play the way we wanted to play the game tonight against a tough team like Ceres," said Than Quang Ninh Head Coach Phan Thanh Hung.
"We did not play our best, especially in the first half. We failed to create opportunities that could have given the game a different story," Coach Risto Vidakovic then mentioned.
Schröck, who was named as the Man of the Match, echoed Vidakovic's words, saying, "Tonight is just not our night. No team is perfect, there will be days that we would not get the result that we wanted and this is one of those moments," Schröck said.
Ceres-Negros FC continues their AFC Cup journey on March 11 against the tough Indonesian squad Bali United.
Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha