Cebu topples Iloilo in key PFL clash
MANILA, Philippines—Dynamic Herb Cebu closed the gap on Kaya-Iloilo in the title race after a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the same club on Sunday as the Philippines Football League finally resumed in Iloilo City.
Goals from debuting Leaford Allen near halftime and Jacob Liao in the second half put the Gentle Giants ahead before overcoming Daizo Horikoshi’s brace and beating Kaya before screaming fans at Iloilo Sports Complex.
Cebu improved to 24 points, cutting Kaya’s hold of top spot to six following the rugged derby dubbed as the “Visayas Clasico” that saw both clubs reduced to 10 men each.
The Gentle Giants, however, have two games at hand which they hope to capitalize moving forward.
Daniel Gadia put the visitors in front in the 24th minute when he scored a header off a corner kick for the opening goal. Gadia and Kaya’s Simone Rota were later tossed after an altercation minutes later.
But Cebu’s lead disappeared in the 35th as Horikoshi fired a free kick that enabled the Japanese winger to take the lead in the goalscoring tally.
Cebu, however, would go into halftime with a 2-1 lead as Allen, a Canadian striker signed during the three-month break, scored during the first half stoppage time.
Liao’s header made it 3-1 for the Gentle Giants in the 55th, a cushion Cebu needed as Horikoshi scored five minutes later for Kaya.
Kaya had one opportunity to draw level late but Jarvey Gayoso missed an opportunity during a counterattack.