A goal in the second half of the extension period from Brazilian Luis Carlos of South China AA ended Ceres-La Salle's historic campaign in the AFC Cup at the Pana-ad Stadium in Bacolod City last night.
With both teams playing a high level game, a goalless regulation forced the extra 30-minute extra time where Ceres remained dominant while South China was looking for that single opportunity to score.
“We did not come here to settle for a draw. We had been looking forward for that situation when we can score the goal,” said South China head coach Ricardo Rambo, who took over the job two months ago.
The Brazilian coach said playing against Ceres was difficult as it is a strong team but their persistence was rewarded with a wonderful goal in the end.
That single mistake in their defense cost them the match, Ceres' head coach Franklin Muescan admitted.
While they managed to dominate ball possession in both halves of the regulation, Muescan said they failed to capitalize and they missed several opportunities to score.
“A single mistake…we can not avoid it. It is part of the game. We are almost there and we were so unlucky. But that is football,” Muescan said.
With both teams failing to score in the regulation, he said they were not expecting a shootout. Muescan said they were expecting Ceres to score as they had been controlling the tempo.
Player of the match Bienvenido Marañon said everyone played well and while they lost the match, their focus now shifts to the UFL League where a top finish will allow them to compete again in the AFC Cup next year.
The team is also scheduled to leave for Singapore this week to join the Singapore Cup.*NAB