MANILA -- Ceres Negros made a huge statement to begin its stint in the AFC Cup by romping Svay Rieng, 4-0, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium here on Tuesday night.
Tadashi Odawara began the Bacolod-based side's domination against the visiting club from Cambodia with a 12th-minute goal as Dennis Villanueva took advantage of a poor clearance from the Svay Rieng backline and found him just inside the box.
Josh Grommen followed suit with what seemed like a header in the 14th minute to make it 2-0.
However, it was -- and still is -- subject to controversy as Grommen actually tapped the ball in with his left hand, which the referee missed out.
Bienve Marañon then took over in the second half, scoring in the 55th and the 70th minutes for the final tally.
Ceres Negros joins fellow opening night winner Bali United at the top of Group G.
Bali also dropped four goals at home against Tang Quanh Ninh, but the Indonesian club walked away with a 4-1 win, putting Ceres Negros, whose goalkeeper Roland Muller kept a clean sheet, in first place on goal difference. (PNA)