CERES Negros of the Philippines grabbed a piece of the Group G lead in the AFC Cup following a stunning 6-2 victory over Vietnam’s Hanoi FC before more than 8,000 fans at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod late Wednesday.
Spanish strikers Bienvenido Marañon and Fernando Rodriguez scored twice as the Busmen tied the Vietnamese side at eight points on top of the table in the continent’s second-tier club tournament.
Ceres’ victory came after the Philippines’ other club team Global fired four goals in the last 20 minutes to take a 4-2 win over Myanmar’s Magwe and solidify its grip of the Group F top spot.
Marañon opened the scoring in the 13th minute, before Kevin Ingreso doubled the Busmen’s lead eight minutes later.
Hanoi struck back, though, as Pham Thanh Luong ensured it went into half-time trailing by just a goal.
Ceres quickly pulled three goals clear shortly after the interval thanks to two strikes from forward Fernando, between which Hanoi substitute Hoang Vu Samson was also shown a straight red card.
A Do Hung Dung penalty cut down the Busmen’s lead to 4-2, but Jason de Jong and Marañon found the back of the net in the final three minutes to give the home side a comprehensive victory.
Ceres will advance to the Last 16 as Group G winners if it prevails over Tampines Rovers of Singapore in the final matchday on May 3.