FELDA United threw their group wide open after a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Philippines’ Ceres Negros in the AFC Cup.
Goals from Syahid Zainon, Haidin Azman & substitute Fazrul Hazli ensured that FELDA stays in the hunt for a place into the next round.
FELDA couldn’t have asked for a better start. After seven minutes, Hadin Azman from the right tees up Syahid who went for it just outside the box, and the ball went in, leaving Roland Muller no chance.
Only a minute later, stand-in captain Zah Rahan disposed Carlos De Murga and only had Muller to beat. The Ceres keeper though redeemed himself by winning the one-on-one battle.
On the 13th minute, a free-kick from the left found Gaston Cellerino who broke free from his marker, only for his flick to go just over the bar.
Ceres though had a good chance to equalize, but Martin Steuble’s bouncing header from Iain Ramsay’s corner was just wide.
But FELDA continued their push and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha thought he had the second with a curler from the left, only for the ball to just skim the far post of Ceres’ goal.
It was 27 minutes gone and a direct free-kick from about 30 yards Wan Amirul Afiq troubled Muller and he had to tip it over. The referee however awarded a goal-kick instead.
Then, another glorious chance was wasted when Norshahrul’s low cross found Gaston in front of his goal but thanks to Manuel ‘Super’ Herrera, he was put off and forced to shoot off target.
Last chance of the half came from a FELDA counter-attack when Gaston timed his run into the box well to receive a through pass. He spotted Zah Rahan with loads of space in the middle and somehow, the stand-in captain miskicked the ball and it went out for a goal-kick.
Eight minutes after the restart, Ramsay went for it from outside the box only for his effort to be tipped over by Farizal Harun.
Ceres tried to penetrate FELDA’s box, but they couldn’t convert to anything. On the 66th minute, FELDA doubled their lead. Norshahrul’s cross was headed away by Super, but the ball went to Hadin, who lashed a wicked volley into the top corner that almost ripped the net.
Ceres’ day went from bad to worse when on the 76th minute, Muller fumbled a corner and substitute Fazrul Hazli, who only just came on for two minutes, kicked the loose ball into the net as FELDA ran out deserving winners.