Ceres Negros FC stuns Persija Jakarta in big comeback
By Kevin Estrada
Ceres Negros moved closer to the knockout stage of the AFC Cup after coming back from two goals down to snatch a 3-2 win away at Persija Jakarta Tuesday afternoon in the Indonesian capital (evening Manila time).
In a heated game between league champions, it was the Busmen who showed their bigger heart to silence the boisterous supporters inside the cauldron of Gelora Bung Karno to remain unbeaten with their fourth win in Group G.
Persija could have gone 1-0 up just 20 minutes in but Bruno Matos saw his penalty easily saved by Roland Muller to keep the match goalless until halftime struck.
The penalty was conceded by Super Herrera, with the Spaniard set to miss the next match away at Shan United, with five more including skipper Martin Steuble, are just a yellow card away in a risky move by Risto Vidakovic to include them in the squad.
Persija’s persistence paid off at the restart, with Sandi Sute heading home an Ismed Sofyan free kick to put the Indonesian champions ahead in th 49th minute.
Matos redeemed himself from the weak first-half penalty by tapping home with his left foot eight minutes later, beating the offside trap set by the Ceres backline.
However, Vidakovic started their fightback with a double change in the 63rd minute, putting in Miguel Tanton and Mahir Karic to boost their attacking prowess.
And the former Kaya man got their comeback going with his 70th minute free kick that bounced into the Persija net to halve the deficit, with Bienve leveled the match five minutes before full time when he headed home a Stephan Schröck cross.
Vidakovic was even sent to the stands two minutes later by Uzbek referee Sherdon Kasimov for complaining before seeing his side got the win in stoppage time, with Mike Ott making himself big by converting yet another left-wing cross by Schröck to silence the Jakarta cauldron to prove that their win in Panaad nineteen days ago was no fluke.
Persija Jakarta (4-1-4-1): Andritany (GK) (C), Saputra, Prabowo, Maman, Lestaluhu (Fachtur 71′), Matos, Setiawan (Susanto 77′), Sofyan, Riko, Chand, Sandi Sute (Fitra Ridwan 88′)
Ceres-Negros (4-4-2): Muller (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso (Tanton 63′), Marañon, Porteria (Karic 63′), Schröck, De Murga, Alvaro Silva, Nazari, Steuble (C)