After stinging setback, Kaya yearns for better showing
Jarvey Gayoso considers the goal that served as the lone bright spot in Kaya-Iloilo’s defeat to Chinese side Shandong Taishan in the first-ever Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League match in the country as something he’ll remember.
But Gayoso will be the first to say that it could have been more memorable had a different outcome came out Tuesday night at Rizal Memorial Stadium as Kaya was left with learning lessons when it comes to playing high-level competition.
“For sure, it’s not gonna rank high because we came out with a loss, of course. But it’s something that I will cherish,” Gayoso said following the 3-1 loss, a scoreline that is not reflective of how Kaya put itself in a position to possibly get a result.
Facing the runner-up of last season’s Chinese Super League, Kaya showed that it can be competitive against quality opposition and was able to put the game scoreless after the first 45 minutes.
Kaya kept it that way until Ricki Sendra fouled Moises inside the box, allowing the latter to convert a penalty that put the visitors on top.
Another defensive miscue enabled Matheus Pato to get past Kaya keeper Quincy Kameraad amid a scramble inside the box and converted an empty-netter for Shandong’s second goal in the 71st.
“They were able to capitalize on the attempts that they have,” said Gayoso. “We should be more disciplined being able to get back and defend.”
Gayoso’s goal came eight minutes later off a nifty low pass from Sendra, before the Philippine Azkals mainstay beat the Shandong keeper who came out of the penalty area to give Kaya hope that the game could be salvaged with a draw.
Kaya tried the rest of the way, until Cryzan scored Shandong’s third goal with about two minutes from the final whistle.
“I think we can play better against Shandong, also Yokohama (F. Marinos) and Incheon (United),” said Kaya’s Japanese mainstay Daizo Horikoshi, also mentioning the two other heavyweight sides from Japan and South Korea that the Philippines Football League champions will face in the group stage.
“We need to communicate more as a team,” added Horikoshi.
Meanwhile, Stallion-Laguna absorbed a rough 5-2 home loss at the hands of Indonesia’s Bali United in its continental debut in the AFC Cup on Wednesday at Binan Football Stadium.
Dynamic Herb Cebu begins its AFC Cup stint on Thursday at Rizal Memorial against Cambodian side Phnom Penh Crown.