Overconfident Ceres yields to Myanmar
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Unceremoniuosly booted out of the AFC Champions League qualifiers, Ceres Negros coach Risto Vidakovic said the Busmen paid the price for somehow underestimating a match-fit Yangon United in a first-round encounter they expected to hurdle given the homefield and the psychogical edge they enjoyed.

The Busmen came on the heels of a successful debut in last year’s ACL Qualifiers, where they came a win short of reaching the group stage, followed by a dispatching of Yangon United in the AFC Cup Asean zonal semifinal, but on Tuesday night, they failed to sustain the charge and conceded a lethal 1-2 defeat to the Burmese club at a packed Panaad Stadium.

“From the start we were rather uncomfortable, we couldn’t find the groove and I think maybe we underestimated (Yangon) a little bit. We expected a different team,” said Vidakovic.

One big differrence was the Burmese champ’s new Brazilian signing Vinicius Miller, who created an immediate impact and drew first blood with a stunning free kick at the 29th minute. Stephan Schrock put the home side on level with a magnificent strike in the 44th but Yangon restored the upperhand via Kaung Htet Soe’s 59th minute winner and survived Ceres’ searing fightback to seal its advance to Round 2.

“Actually, Yangon practically has the same lineup (as the 2018 AFC Cup), maybe has some new players but the difference was they played four competitive games already whereas our last game was in September (last year),” said Vidakovic, whose wards last saw action in the PFL Paulino Alcantara Cup.

“But that’s not an excuse for the loss. I think everyone close to the team was expecting a high result, maybe 4-0, 5-0 (win) and working on that atmosphere, the players can’t take it seriously and I think they underestimated Yangon and they lost,” he added.

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