Kaya squeaks past Ceres on last-gasp Tanton goal
BOTHERED by an illness the past month, Miguel Tanton has seen his minutes dip in Kaya’s last two matches.
But Tanton stepped up when Kaya needed him the most, firing a stoppage-time strike that lifted his team to a dramatic 1-0 win over Ceres La Salle on Saturday night in the United Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Tanton, who begged off from national duty late last month due to his illness, swapped passes with Adam Reed inside the box, before the Fil-American midfielder slotted the ball past Ceres goalkeeper Ed Sacapano in the 92nd minute.
It was almost dark when the match finished and the conditions only added a layer of drama to an epic battle that saw only 19 players finish the match.
The goal meant so much to Tanton as he rushed to the touchline and took off his jersey. Already on a yellow card, Tanton’s celebration got him sent off for a second booking.
It hardly mattered for him, though, as Kaya kept its bid for a second-place finish alive, as well as qualification to the AFC Cup next year.
Ceres went down to 10 men early in the 15th minute when Val Kama struck Joven Bedic in an off-the-ball incident, but Kaya also had a man sent off in Shirmar Felongco, who was also caught hitting Bienve Marañon late in the first half.
Kaya rode its luck in the final 10 minutes when Stephan Schrock hit the crossbar before Marañon also wasted a good chance inside the box.
“It’s been difficult for me the past month,” said Tanton. “I’m just recovering my fitness because I haven’t had that energy to train the past few weeks. That’s why I haven’t been starting.”
Tanton came on in the second half and gave Kaya another threat on the final third as coach Chris Greatwich missed striker Louis Clark due to suspension.
While Kaya improved to 28 points from 15 matches, the result left Ceres’ title hopes in shambles. The Busmen are still in second, stuck at 32 points with four matches remaining.
But their defeat gives Global an easier road to the title. Global, which has 38 points from 14 games, only needs three wins from its last five matches to clinch a rare League and Cup double.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.