CERES Negros FC beat Persija Jakarta, 1-0, on Wednesday night to stay in first place in Group G of the 2019 AFC Cup at the Pana-ad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Bienvenido Marañon scored in the ninth minute on a header, enough for the Busmen to pick up their third straight win and the lead in Group G with nine points.
Ceres midfielder Stephan Schrock emphasized the big win in an interview with the AFC website, considering that competition in its mother league, the Philippine Premier League, has yet to begin.
“It was a massive, massive win for us, especially considering that we only play every three weeks as our league hasn’t started yet. To stay undefeated at the top of the group is very, very good. What we need to improve is our match fitness but that’s hard because the league hasn’t started yet. It’s also hard to get friendly games in the Philippines, so it is a big challenge for us to get match fitness and in shape for 90 minutes of hard competition,” said Schrock.
On matchday four, Ceres will play an away match against Persija Jakarta on April 23 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
Kaya FC-Iloilo, meanwhile, takes on PSM Makassar on April 17 at the Pana-ad Stadium in Bacolod City.