Korean Kim Sang Min and Azkals star Stephan Schrock scored in extra time as Ceres-La Salle survived the Garena Young Lions, 3-1, on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Singapore Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Kim broke a 1-all tie in the ninth minute of the extension with a header before Schrock found the back of the net for the second time moments later to help the Busmen arrange a two-legged quarterfinal with reigning S. League champion Brunei DPMM.
Ceres thus followed the lead of United Football League archrival Global, which on Saturday had an easier time reaching the quarters with a 5-0 blanking of Cambodian club Nagaworld.
“I was expecting a hard game against the Young Lions. I’ve watched clips of them; although they lost many games, they were fighting against some S.League giants. Those were not one-sided games,” said Ceres coach Ali Go as quoted by the S. League’s official website.
It was the second straight time that Ceres played an extra-time affair, after bowing out of the AFC Cup with a 1-0 defeat at home to Hong Kong’s South China last Tuesday.
This time, Ceres got the result that it needed, and it started with Schrock scoring an opening goal by cutting past Young Lions goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad shortly before halftime.
The Busmen was on the verge of winning the match in regulation when the Young Lions leveled three minutes before added time on a rebound by Joshua Pereira off two shots that both hit the crossbar.
But Ceres made sure it won’t waste a chance of winning the contest as Kim headed the go-ahead goal off a long ball before Schrock delivered the coup de grace also with a header to seal the victory.
“We had some chances in the second half, but the ball wasn’t going in. It took just one mistake for them to level the game; the boys were tired but I told them to keep pushing. It wasn’t easy because I feel the Young Lions can still run for another 120 minutes, but in the end experience won it for us,” said Go.