HAVING made history as the first Filipino club to advance to the knockout stage of the AFC Cup, Ceres-La Salle has set its sights on clinching home field advantage in the Round of 16 of the continental tournament.
The Bacolod-based side gained a precious point after a scoreless draw against Selangor of Malaysiain their Group E clash at Selayang Municipal Stadium just outside Kuala Lumpur.
But the 2015 UFL champions are far from satisfied from just reaching the next round as a victory against Sheikh Jamal on May 10 at Panaad Stadium will give the Bacolod club top spot in Group E that also guarantees homefield advantage in the one-game playoff for a quarterfinal spot.
“We will finish this group strong,” said Ceres coach Franklin Muescan. “We’re going to bring an exciting match on May 10.”
Just like their first meeting last February that ended in a 2-2 stalemate at Panaad Stadium, there was little to separate Ceres and Selangor as they failed to cash in on their chances particularly in the second half when the match finally came to life.
But the result raised the Bacolod-based side’s tally to nine points from five matches, one ahead of Selangor.
Ceres’ bid to reach the next round was aided by Sheikh Jamal’s 2-3 upset of Tampines Rovers of Singapore in the earlier kickoff.
“I salute the boys,” Muescan said. “The determination was there. It’s a historic event for Philippine football.”
Formed in 2012, Ceres has taken the UFL by storm, winning the FA League Cup in 2012 and the league last season.