With a 9-0 annihilation haunting them since their February clash, Cambodian champions Boeung Ket will be eager to present Ceres Negros with a much tougher proposition when they host the Philippine champions at Olympic Stadium on Wednesday in a Group F encounter in the the ongoing AFC Cup.
Ceres produced their biggest winning margin in the tournament at the start of the group stage with double strikes from Takumi Uesato, OJ Porteria, and Bienvenido Maranon, while Carli de Murga and Manuel Ott also got on the scoresheet, with an own goal adding to the visitors’ miserable time on the pitch.
Since then Ceres have consolidated their position and are now just one win from clinching a knockout berth after a 1-0 over Shan United in Yangon.
Boeung Ket were edged 2-1 by Myanmar’s Shan United at Olympic Stadium in February. The Blue Dragon then claimed their first group win with a 3-2 victory over Home United in Phnom Penh, before going down 6-0 in the return fixture in Singapore.
Calijuri and Laboravy key
Boeung Ket coach Keo Kosal will be under pressure to extract a much higher standard from his players in front of the home fans, though it is hard to overlook how the impact of a 9-0 loss may affect confidence.
While two of Boeung Ket’s foreign signings were unable to take to the pitch in the first leg, the team will be happy to welcome back forward Julius Oiboh, who was the star of the team’s only win against Shan United, though strike partner Samuel Ajayi has to sit out the fixture after getting a one-match ban for a red card in the Home United game.
Once again Boeung Ket will be pinning their faith up front on Brazilian Maycon Calijuri, with Cambodia striker Khoun Laboravy in support.
Ceres Negros, meanwhile, restarted their domestic season with a win against Kaya FC-Iloilo. Goals from brothers Manny and Mike Ott crowned vibrant team play from manager Risto Vidakovic’s squad, with the coach testing new combinations with an eye on the Boeung Ket tie.
Ceres Negros will be leaning on Maranon, Stephan Schrock, and Manny Ott in their push towards the knockout stage for the third straight year.
The match is set for a 6.30pm kick-off and is to be shown live on local BTV and cable channel Fox Sports 3.