Philippine league champs Ceres Negros ruthlessly mowed down Boeung Ket 9-0 in the first leg of their Group F clash of the AFC Cup campaign, with an own goal adding to the misery in the worst defeat for the Cambodian side since the club was launched in Kampong Cham early this decade.
The shower of goals from the local outfit at the well filled Panaad Stadium was far heavier than the light rain that fell as the visitors failed to put up even a semblance of a fight.
Boeung Ket were held hostage in their own half by a well coordinated and skilful set of players who found the Blue Dragon’s creaky defence easy to toy with, making their usually reliable goalkeeper Sou Yaty look helpless.
The closest Boeung Ket got to the Ceres box was when Khoun Laboravy missed an open chance with only the goal keeper to beat.
Apart from that incident, Ceres Spanish goalkeeper Toni Doblas was almost off duty between the sticks, while his counterpart Yaty had hardly any breathing space.
Within the first 20 minutes, a big margin of defeat was on the cards for Boeung Ket.
Japanese import Takumi Uesato, who joined the Bacolod city-based club last month, got Ceres off to a good start when he created enough space to make room to drive in Manuel Ott’s pass.
In a matter of minutes, Spanish signing Bienvenido Maranon, the hero of Ceres’s AFC Champions League win over Brisbane Roar, headed in from close range following a corner that triggered panic in the box to make it 2-0.
Touch Pancharong brought down Ott for an obvious penalty and Maranon stepped in hit home.
A perfect cross from Patrick Reichelt fell into the path of Uesato who chipped in for his second goal, and midfielder OJ Poreteria rounded off the first half tally by finishing off a clever pass from Maranon.
Going into the break 5-0 down, Boeung Ket had to endure even greater humiliation after the restart when defender Sun Sovannarith, in trying to clear a cross, headed the ball into his own net.
Ceres captain Carli de Murga, backstage during the first half as Uesato, Ott and Maranon played around with the troubled Boeung Ket defence, got on the scoresheet early in the second session as he powerfully headed in Ott’s cross for goal No7 for the side.
Ott drove in a long range effort through a few dumbstruck defenders to make it 8-0, and Poreteria was back to complete his brace and take Ceres to cloud nine.
The huge margin of defeat could well prove to have an impact on Boueng Ket’s morale when the two sides clash again at the Olympic Stadium in the second leg on April 11.