Ceres-Negros FC nearly got what they came for in the AFC Cup ASEAN zone semi-final first leg away to Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) when they took the lead at 1-2 but had to eventually settled for a 3-2 defeat. However, the two away goals could very well come in handy when two teams meet again in the second leg.
For Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic, he applauded a very good performance from both teams although it wasn't as easy on the eye for those on the side of the pitch. Vidakovic points to the next 90 minutes as crucial during the post-match press conference.
"It was a very tough game. For the crowd it was a very good game. We have another game at home to change it. It will not be easy because we’re playing the strongest team. But we will do what we can," said Vidakovic.
Fernando Rodriguez may have scored one goal in the match but he was also culpable for some glaring misses, like his team mates as Ceres could have gotten more out of the first leg tie. However, Vidakovic remains pleased despite their profligacy in front of goal.
"This is football. Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t. We are a small club against a giant club. I think we got a very good result. I’m very proud of my players," added Vidakovic.
The two goals that did came for Ceres were both through their quick counter attacking moves and Vidakovic is pleased that one part of their plans had worked.
"Yes [it was our tactic to play on the counter]. We talked about how Johor play at home. They are a very offensive team. We talk about the space they leave behind at the full backs. Two times, we scored two goals," explained Vidakovic.
Bienvenido Maradon was the other goal scorer for Ceres, taking him past Gabriel Guerra in the top scorer charts. Maradon and the rest of the Ceres team will attempt to add to the tally when the two teams face each other in the return leg in two week's time in Bacolod City.