Ceres-La Salle falls to South China in extra time, wraps up AFC Cup campaign
Santino Honasan on May 24, 2016 11:37 PM
Ceres-La Salle's historic AFC Cup run comes to an end in Bacolod
Ceres-La Salle’s historic AFC Cup run came to a heartbreaking ending at the hands of the visiting South China AA, Tuesday evening at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
A late goal in the second half of added extra time from Brazilian Luiz Carlos was all it took to cut the 2015 UFL Champions’ AFC Cup campaign short and in turn sending the Hong Kong-based champions back into the quarterfinals.
The visitors managed to control the first half, out-shooting Ceres-La Salle, but ultimately not getting any to fall in.
The second half was a different story however, as the home side came out as the aggressor, getting a handful of clean attempts, but like the visitors, none of them touched the back of the net, forcing a 30-minute extension.
The Pinoys managed to carry the aggressiveness into the first 15-minutes of the added extra time, but fatigue started to set in, and signs began to point to a sudden-death penalty shootout after the extra time.
In the 107th minute however, Brazilian midfielder Carlos made sure that there wouldn’t be any shootout as he blasted his sixth goal of the tournament off a set piece that caught Ceres-La Salle keeper Michael Casas off guard.
Unfortunately for the Cebuano keeper, his only miscue of the match would prove to be the difference maker.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in the match, Ceres-La Salle mounted one last effort to come up with an equalizer, but there would be no miraculous comebacks as the visitors held on for the win.
“We controlled the tempo in the second half, we had a lot of chances, but we didn’t capitalize on those goals, there were a lot.” Ceres-La Salle coach Franklin Muescan told the media following the match.
While it’s the end of the line for the Bacolod-based club, they still made history in their AFC Cup run, becoming the first Pinoy team to make it to the Round of 16, and the first Pinoy team to finish at the top of the group.
This also isn’t the end of line in terms of representing the country for Ceres-La Salle, as they head to Singapore at the end of the month to participat in the Singapore Cup.