It was the end of the journey for 2015 champions Johor Darul Takzim in this year’s AFC Cup competition and it ended in disgrace with goalkeeper Farizal Marlias given a direct red card at the Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium in Bacolod City on Wednesday in the second-leg against Ceres Negros.
The former national goalkeeper was given the sack by referee Fu Ming for manhandling him and other match officials – a minute after Spaniard Fernando Rodriquez scored from the spot four minutes into added time to put Ceres 2-1 ahead and 4-4 on aggregate.
Ceres Negros advanced on away goals ruling.
The penalty was awarded by Fu Ming when Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak was hauled up for pulling down Raodriquez inside the box from a corner kick. Farizal and company hotly disputed the penalty but the referee stood his ground.
Until then JDT were in the driving seat with the score tied at 1-1 in Bacolod and JDT 4-3 ahead on aggregate following their 3-2 win over Ceres at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru two weeks ago.
Ceres opened scoring on 26 minutes through Kota Kawase to put the homesters 1-0 up on the night and 3-3 on aggregate.
JDT were back in the lead on aggregate after Gabriel Guerra scored from an assist by Gonzalo Cabrera to make 1-1 at Bacolod.
As minutes ticked by JDT looked not only looked safe to advance to the Asean Zonal final until the mayhem in injury time.
Ceres will now play Singapore’s Home United who knocked another Philippine club Global FC in the return-leg semi-final at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday with a late, late brace from their Croatian hitman Stipe Plazibat who scored in the 89th and 94th minutes for a 3-2 win.
Home United advanced to the Asean Zonal final in August 5-4 on aggregate following a 2-2 draw in Manila two weeks ago. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
AFC CUP Asean Zone
Wednesday (May 31)
Ceres Negros ((Phi) 2 JDT Mas) 1
(4-4 aggregate, Ceres advance on away goals)
Tuesday (May 30)
Home United (Sin) 3 Global FC 2
(Home United advance 5-4 on aggregate)