Streaking Kaya finally stops Ceres
Ten-man Kaya Iloilo dealt reigning champion Ceres Negros its first loss of the season with a stunning 2-0 victory on Saturday night in the Philippines Football League (PFL) at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Robert Lopez Mendy and Alfred Osei found the back of the net in the first half as Kaya notched a third straight win in the season, while ending a run of six straight losses to the Busmen, who eliminated them in the semifinals last season.
“The heartbreak is over,” said Kaya coach Noel Marcaida, whose squad played the last 30 minutes of the game with just 10 men after Camelo Tacuslme was sent off for a second yellow card.
“I said before the game it would take a collective team effort, and we got exactly that. We took advantage of them in that first half. Everyone worked so hard, especially after we went down to 10 men.”
The win improved Kaya’s haul to 13 points after seven outings. But Ceres remained on top with 15 points from six games.
Bracing for a tough away trip to Myanmar where Ceres will face Yangon United in the second leg of the AFC Cup zonal semifinals, the Busmen rested some of the starters in their 4-2 win over Yangon in the first leg last Wednesday.
But Ceres still had depth and firepower with Takumi Uesato and Bienvenido Marañon leading the line. Kaya took the lead in the 10th minute when Tanton’s free kick found an unmarked Jordan Mintah who delivered an inch perfect ball for Mendy to tap home at the far post.
Ceres won a penalty moments later when Uesato was brought down inside the area. Marañon stepped up to take the spotkick only for Ace Villanueva to palm his low effort away, preserving Kaya’s advantage.
Kaya breached substitute keeper Michael Casas’ goal for the second time as Tanton found Osei for the second goal.
“Kaya fought very hard,” said Ceres assistant coach Ian Treyes.” They gave 200 percent just to win this game. It’s what we expected. As you noticed, we have our focus on our next game, so we rested some of our players for our upcoming match in the AFC Cup.”
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