MANILA — Ceres Negros is eyeing a second straight win in the AFC Cup as it goes up against Than Quang Ninh on Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium here.
Than Quang Ninh was supposed to host its Matchday 2 clash with Ceres Negros, but the AFC decided to reschedule the Vietnam leg of their group stage series to the second round due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
This effectively means Ceres Negros will host an AFC Cup match for the second time, and with its match against Bali United on March 11 also to be held at RMS, Ceres Negros now has to start its campaign with a three-game home stand.
“Playing at home is always a joy, and the home fans will give us additional boost,” Manny Ott said during the pre-match press conference at the Century Park Hotel here.
Both clubs came from contrasting sides of blowout results two weeks ago in Matchday 1.
Ceres Negros downed Svay Rieng, 4-0, at home, while Than Quang Ninh was whipped on the road against Bali United, 1-4.
However, Coach Risto Vidakovic said there is nothing to be complacent about for Ceres Negros considering how the reigning Philippines Football League champion struggled against V. League 1 outfits last year in the AFC Cup.
“[Vietnam has] a good league. They have strong teams in the league, and Than Quang Ninh is one of them. It’s not easy for us to keep on winning, and for us, it’s very important that we have to work hard every game,” Vidakovic said ahead of Ceres Negros’ battle against last year’s V. League 1 third placer.
The said match serves as some sort of a preseason action as both the PFL and the V. League 1 will only begin their new seasons next month. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)