The second round of matches in Groups C, F & G took place on Wednesday and we saw some interesting results with the best of that being the 5-0 humbling of Tampines Rovers by Ceres Negros. AFC Cup debutants Magwe FC also picked up a point while Al Wehdat continued their unbeaten start. Let's take a closer look at the games that were played on Tuesday:-
Al Muharraq (BHR) 1-1 Al Wehdat (JOR) [Abdullatif 8’ - Abu Amara 29’]
Bahraini side Al Muharraq gained their first points of the season by holding Jordan’s Al Wehdat to a 1-1 draw in a Group C encounter in Manama.
The hosts got off to a brilliant start as they surged into the lead in 8th minute, thanks to a deflected strike from Ismail Abdullatif. His shot from close range deviated off a defender to fool the goalkeeper and nestle in the back of the net.
But the goalscorer became the villain in the 29th minute when he brought down Abdallah Deeb in the penalty box. Abu Amara made no mistake with the spotkick and pulled Al Wehdat level. There were not much opportunities for either side to grab the winner and the game ended in a draw. The result takes Al Wehdat to the top of the table while Muharraq are still mired at the bottom of Group C.
Nejmeh (LIB) 2-1 Saham (OMA) [Moghrabi 45’ Cofie 70’ - Al Ghassani 47’]
Lebanese side Nejmeh picked up their first win of the 2017 AFC Cup campaign after edging out Saham in a tightly-fought encounter.
Nejmeh took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Akram Moghrabi headed in a corner from close-range right at the stroke of half-time. It did not take the side from Oman long to grab an equaliser - doing so within two minutes of the restart. Al Ghassani latched on to a long ball from Al Maawali which was not dealt with by the Nejmeh defence and the striker’s volley from range caught out the ‘keeper.
But a fighting Nejmeh grabbed their right back in the 70th minute Nicolas Cofie curled a supreme effort into the top corner following a run where the Saham defenders backed off him. The win means Nejmeh have drawn level with Saham with three points each.
Magwe FC (MYA) 1-1 Johor Darul Ta’zim (MAS) [Sekou 89’ - Gopinathan 27’]
Myanmar’s Magwe FC earned a suprise draw against the favourites Johor Darul Ta’zim in Yangon after a dramatic late equaliser.
The Malaysian side were expected roll the AFC Cup debutants over easily in this tie but the match started in disastrous fashion for them. Fullback Hasbullah Bakar was sent off in the 12th minute for a dangerous challenge on Lwin Kyaw Zin. Even then, Johor took the lead in the 27th minute Ramachandra Gopinathan came up with a smart finish to turn home SUppiah’s low cross into the area.
But it was the hosts who bossed possession against 10-man visitors and got their just rewards in the 89th minute Sylla Sekou went on to round the goalkeeper and calmly slot the ball into the net, leaving Johor shocked. The result means Johor are now second in the group with four points while Magwe are third with one.
Beoungket Angkor (CAM) 0-2 Global FC (PHI) [Mulders 5’, 65’]
Philippines’ Global FC maintained their winning start to the 2017 AFC Cup campaign by easily picking off Cambodia’s Beoungket Angkor in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.
Paul Mulders fired Global FC into the lead as early as in the fifth minute with a stunning strike from distance which flew into the top left corner, leaving the hosts stunned. Global FC, who won their opening game against Magwe FC, could not force another goal until the 65th minute when Beoungket defender Sun Sovannrithy upended Shu Sasaki in the penalty area. Paul Mulders stepped up to complete his brace and send Global FC top of Group F while the Cambodians remained rooted to the bottom spot.
Ceres Negros (PHI) 5-0 Tampines Rovers (SIN) [Ramsay 1’ Maranon 24’, 64’ Ott 38’ Fernando 72’]
Last year’s quarterfinalist Tampines Rovers were given a rude awakening by Philippine side Ceres Negros who completed a resounding 5-0 win at the Pana-ad Park and Football stadium on Tuesday.
The game got off to a dream start for Ceres when they took the lead in the opening minute when Iain Ramsay sent a sensational left-footed half volley into the top corner. Bienvenido Maranon then scored the first of his two goals on the night after he latched on to a through ball, lifted it over the onrushing goalkeeper and two other defenders before knocking it into the net. Manuel Ott made it three in the 38th minute with another stunning strike from the edge of the area which dipped under the bar.
There was absolutely no respite for the visitors in the second-half either. Maranon then completed his brace in the 64th minute when he got on the end of another long ball and then proceeded to chip the goalkeeper. Fernando added a fifth eight minutes later when he tapped in a low cross from the left which meant Ceres have stormed to the top of Group G while Tampines Rovers remain second.
Felda United (MAS) 1-1 Hanoi FC (VIE) [Krangar 23’ - Do Hung Dung 90+1’]
Felda United, trying to bounce back from an opening day defeat to Tampines Rovers, were held to a dramatic draw by Hanoi FC in a Group G encounter at Shah Alam.
Felda took the lead in the 23rd minute through Zah Krangar’s opportunistic strike. A through ball from the back seemed headed straight to the onrushing Hanoi goalkeeper but it held up in a water-logged pitch for Krangar to chip it over the keeper from halfway inside the Hanoi half.
Though the hosts did create a few chances, an equaliser evaded them until the first minute of injury time when Do Hung Dung made space for himself down the left-hand side in the Felda penalty box and curled an effort in off the far post to claim a share of the spoils. The draw, second consecutive one for the Vietnamese side, sees them sit third on the table while Felda are bottom.