Tomorrow night’s highly anticipated clash between Kaya Makati and Global Cebu is expected to draw over 8,000 to the Cebu City Sports Complex. The two teams have amassed 28 points each so far in the Philippines Football League, and Saturday’s night’s match will be the ideal opportunity for either side to snatch second place outright.
“It’s always nice to play in a stadium where a lot of fans come to watch. With the crowd, and the atmosphere, they deserve to be treated to quality football. We’re here, and we’ll give them that excitement and that enjoyment of watching the game,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida.
Both sides also recently played the same opposition in their last PFL assignments. Makati settled for a 2-2 draw on Wednesday against JPV Marikina, while Cebu suffered a 5-2 defeat last weekend — a match that infamously saw Misagh Bahadoran take on goalkeeping duties for Global because of a lack of options between the sticks.
“I think for me, any team that comes from a defeat has the mentality to bounce back. We’re here to accept that challenge,” said Marcaida. “The winner tomorrow will get a stronghold of second place. That’s the importance of the game.”
Although this will be Makati’s second time facing Global in an away match, this will be Kaya’s first visit to Cebu for a PFL match. The environment, however, hasn’t been all that unfamiliar, especially for Makati goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma.
“Everyone knows that I’m from Dumaguete. But Cebu has been a part of my football career and my life. I studied college here, I represented Cebu when I was at the Under-19 national tournament. This is like a homecoming,” he said. “Some of my family and friends are going to come support, and I think they’ll be wearing our jerseys tomorrow, even though they’ve been wearing Global in the last few games here in Cebu,” he laughed.
“We feel like we’re just at home — the traffic, playing on grass,” Marcaida joked. “I think it will be an exciting game tomorrow.”
Neither team have any suspended players, so Patrick Deyto is expected to reclaim his place in goal for the home side. Meanwhile, Kaya welcome back PFL top scorer Jordan Mintah, and captain Masanari Omura.
The last time the two teams faced each other, it was a thrilling 2-2 draw, with Global scoring in stoppage time to deny Kaya the win at the University of Makati Stadium.
“In our last game, at our home, they scored first and they scored last. We had an opportunity to take all three points but we conceded very late in the game. If we control that, we can get a good result,” said Noel.
Saturday night’s match kicks off at 7pm, at the Cebu City Sports Complex