Ceres fall short of AFC Cup qualification

Maldives’ Maziya SR&C scored a late goal against Ceres-La Salle FC to qualify for the AFC Cup Group Stages with a 1-0 scoreline. Defender Samdhooh Mohamed scored the winner in the 82nd minute.

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The winning goal came after Mohamed intercepted a weak pass on the left hand side and found space to issue a cross to his teammates. The cross seemed to have been mishit as it went straight to the second post instead of curling towards his teammates.

Ceres had three chances to equalize in the final minutes but the Maziya defense held its own. Patrick Reichelt had the best chance in the 83rd after his close range shot was clipped just in time by the defender.

Reichelt glanced in a header two minutes after but striker Adrian Gallardo could not reach the ball to slot in the equalizer. Gallardo had a chance in the 90th minute after a scramble inside the box but the toe poke was just inches wide.

It was a heartbreaking end to Ceres’ AFC Cup campaign as they had better possession and shots in the second half.

Maziya has earned the right to play in the group stages against Bengaluru FC, Warriors FC, and Persipura Jayapura. Ceres-La Salle will now focus on their next UFL Match against Pachanga-Diliman FC on March 1st.

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