Filipino champions Ceres-Negros overcame their counterparts from Myanmar, Shan United, in the first preliminary round of the AFC Champions League yesterday.
The side wasted no time taking the lead through Robert Lopez Mendy in the 5th minute and looked to secure their place when star striker Bienvenido Marañon, the top scorer of last season’s AFC Cup, doubled their advantage shortly before half-time.
A goal from Myanmar international striker Zin Min Tun handed Shan United a lifeline before the game was effectively sealed by a goal from OJ Porteria in the 79th minute. A goal from Shan’s Ivorian striker Maximin Djawa proved to be nothing but a consolation three minutes from time.
Looking to build on their impressive run to the Zonal Semi-Finals of the AFC Cup last season, Ceres have now set up a tie with Thai League side Port FC in the next round.
The Thai League side will be playing their first AFC Champions League game, meaning Ceres will be the experienced campaigners as far as this encounter is concerned. The Filipino champions have only managed to get past the second round of qualifying once before with a shock 3-2 away victory over Brisbane Roar and will be looking to emulate the same feat next week.