Ceres Negros tests Hanoi firepower at Panaad
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — History-chasing Ceres Negros FC seeks the upperhand against Vietnamese side Hanoi FC as they mix it up in the first leg of the AFC Asean Zone semifinals at the Busmen’s turf at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

With home supporters expected to provide the added push, the Busmen gun for maximum points in the 7:30 p.m. opener of the two-legged semis to boost their bid to make history as the first club to reach the Asean zonal finals for three straight years.

Previously, the Busmen won the Asean title in 2017 but settled for runner-up honors in the same stage last year.

Spanish gunner Bienvenido  Marañón  of Ceres and Nigerian Ganiyu Oseni of Hanoi, the tournament’s top scorers with nine goals piece, banner the showdown of the two regional powerhouses that have at their respective disposals some members of the Philippine and Vietnamese national teams.

“I  know they have one of the best squads in Southeast Asia and both home and away matches are sure to be difficult,” Marañón said in an interview on AFC.com.

“We will need to channel the same spirit of the side that beat one of the ASEAN giants in 2017 at this stage (semis) when we defeated Johor Darul Ta’zim,” he added.

Marañón and his pals led by Azkals star Stephan Schrock and Martin Steuble go up against Oseni and the likes of Nguyen Van Quyet and Nguyen Quang Hai in the duel, which will have its second leg on June 25 over at the Hang Day Stadium in the Vietnamese capital. 

Ceres and Hanoi have met before in the group stages in 2017 with the two battling to a 1-1 draw in Hanoi and the Busmen posting a 6-1 romp in Bacolod.

AFC ASEAN ZONE FOOTBALL
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