Ceres outlasts Port FC, advances to AFC Champions League qualifiers 3rd round

MANILA, Philippines – Ceres-Negros FC defied the odds and denied home team Port FC, 1-0, to advance to the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs 3rd round on Tuesday, January 21, at the PAT Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Stephan Schrock proved to be the game changer as his cross found the back of the net after Port FC keeper Worarut Srisupa spilled the ball in the 51st minute. 

"We are always capable of producing an upset. We believed in [ourselves] and we worked for this and congratulations to our team," said Schrock about how the team performed. 

The Busmen are headed to Japan to face FC Tokyo on Tuesday, January 28, as they are one win away from a maiden berth in the main tournament.

"Another real hard game. Even harder than this one. For us, it’s an experience for the team.  We are always fighting to win, we are trying to win, we are tactically working on that," added Ceres head coach Risto Vidakovic on facing the Japanese squad. 

The last time Ceres made it to the 3rd round was in 2018 when the Bacolod-based squad pulled off an upset over Australia's Brisbane Roar, but fell to China's Tianjin Quanjian. 

The Philippine team held off the Thai Premier League 2nd runner-up to a goalless first half despite the home team dominating in possession. 

However, Spanish forward Bienvenido Marañon contributed to the build-up for the goal as Ceres created better chances than Port FC. – Rappler.com 

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.