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Negros seeks payback vs Singaporean club

Game Today
(Panaad Stadium, Bacolod City)
7:30 p.m. – Ceres vs Home United
(Home leads 2-1 on aggregate)

Survival will once again be the battlecry of Ceres-Negros as it tries to bounce back against Singapore’s Home United tonight in the second leg of their ASEAN zonal finals in the AFC Cup at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.

After losing 2-1 in last week’s first leg at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, the Busmen look to capitalize on every advantage they have and earn the distinction as Southeast Asia’s best club.

The winner will arrange an inter-zonal semis duel with Tajikistan’s Istiklol later this month.

Kickoff is set at 7:30 p.m. with Ceres needing at least a 1-0 win to continue its campaign in Asia’s second-tier football competition on away goals rule.

Midfielder Martin Steuble’s 30-yard strike in the first leg may play a key role in the Busmen’s bid despite conceding a late goal by Home United’s Hariss Harun in the same match.

“We know what we’re like in Bacolod. It’s our fortress there,” said Ceres midfielder Iain Ramsay, as quoted by the AFC’s official website. “There will be a strong crowd who’ll get behind us. They will definitely feel it. Our home support is like the 12th man, so we can’t wait to play at home.”

The Busmen will bank on Steuble, Ramsay, Ott, Stephan Schrock, Kevin Ingreso and Roland Muller, to name a few, in order to keep their bid alive.

For its part, Home United is eager to finish off Ceres and earn the distinction as a club that is used to beating its Philippine counterparts. Home was the same team that knocked off Global-Cebu in the ASEAN zonal semis.

Stipe Plazibat, Home’s danger man, is eager to deliver a knockout blow to another Filipino club, but the Ceres defense is determined to deny him that opportunity.