"FORTRESS” WILL TAKE US TO AFC CUP ASEAN ZONAL TITLE, SAYS CERES' RAMSAY
Bacolod City: A 2-1 first leg defeat in the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Final might not have been an ideal result for Ceres Negros but, according to midfielder Iain Ramsay, with their home leg to come on Wednesday, the Filipino club are confident of defeating Singapore’s Home United to take the Southeast Asian crown.
Martin Steuble’s speculative effort that gave Ceres a priceless away goal at the Jalan Besar Stadium could be enough of an advantage, especially when the support at Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium has proved to be among the most passionate in this year’s AFC Cup.
“We know what we’re like in Bacolod,” said former Adelaide United and Melbourne City midfielder Ramsay. “It’s our fortress there.
“There will be a strong crowd who’ll get behind us. They [Home United] will definitely feel it.
“Our home support is like the 12th man, so we can’t wait to play at home.”
Born in Perth, Australia, Ramsay is taking part in his first AFC Cup campaign, although the 29-year-old has tasted continental competition in Asia before.
The Philippines international was an ever-present in Adelaide’s 2012 AFC Champions League campaign when the South Australian club reached the quarter-finals before elimination at the hands of Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor.
And four years later, at virtually the other end of the continent, Ramsay was among the substitutes for Iranian side Tractorsazi Tabriz in the 2016 AFC Champions League.
The AFC Cup, though, could be the scene of his greatest triumph yet should Ceres go on to be crowned ASEAN Zonal champions.
To do that, Ramsay insists, the Filipino club must learn from the first leg defeat.
“It was disappointing not to come away with the win in Singapore, but we reflect on the game and the things we did wrong,” he added.
“Whenever you lose a game you always have to take away the positives from it, but also work on the things that didn’t go right.
“We’ve worked hard and we’re excited for the crucial decider at home on Wednesday.”