After more than a month out injured, Miguel Tanton marked his return to action in the Philippines Football League in fine fashion — with a spectacular goal and an assist. Jordan Mintah led Kaya Makati’s second half blitz with a brace, while Eric Giganto added the exclamation in a 4-0 victory over Stallion Laguna at the University of Makati.
“We’re really happy with the win, we really needed that. I think coming into this game, everyone was on the same page. As I mentioned before the match, we had plans for [Jhan-Jhan] Melliza, plans for their midfielders, and I think we were successful. We denied them from getting scoring chances, and I give credit to all our players for playing very well.”
Scoreless after 45 minutes, it looked as if Kaya Makati’s scoring woes were continuing. Just as in the last three games, where the team managed only a single goal, creating chances wasn’t the issue. From a corner, Adam Reed headed narrowly wide. Robert Lopez Mendy tested the keeper with a powerful hit. But it was Mintah who came closest early on. After turning his defender inside out, he managed to miss the goal frame with only the goalie to beat.
“I was so disturbed about the chance that I got. I was thinking, ‘What, again?’ Because in Ilocos, we had a lot of chances and I missed them. But in the second half I scored because, God knows the reason why. If it’s my time, he will give me the goal to score, so I just let it go, and we won in the second half,” said Mintah, who was named Man of the Match.
The second half was a completely different story, with Stallion Laguna finding themselves three goals down after a six-minute whirlwind. It began on the hour mark. Mintah received the ball just inside Laguna’s half. He released Lopez Mendy out on the left flank, sprinted towards the box, got the ball back, took one touch to beat his defender, another to steady himself, then coolly slotted the ball into the far corner.
During the celebrations, Miguel Tanton checked in to the game for Antonio Ugarte. As he was jogging to take his place in midfield, the ball broke to him just inside Stallion’s half. Without hesitation, and with his first touch of the ball since going off injured on August 16, he hit a powerful lob that dropped perfectly under the crossbar. An instant candidate for goal of the season.
Four minutes later, he turned provider. Spinning away from Stallion’s right back with ease, he teed up Mintah for a powerful header. Just like that, Stallion Laguna were on the ropes, their chances of extending their four-game winning streak looking slim.
“For me, the most interesting moment was when we scored three goals in six minutes in the second half. When Tanton entered the game, it really made a difference. We had lots of penetration, we had lots of chances, and we were able to score goals,” said Marcaida. “I think our other players who came on from the bench really performed well also. It was a collective effort.”
Four minutes before the final whistle, two substitutes combined to wrap up a dominant second period. Marvin Angeles cut out an outlet pass and released the ball to the right flank. Eric Giganto took one touch, then buried the ball in the opposite corner for 4-0.
The victory moved Kaya into second in the standings with 38 points after 22 matches. The result, coupled with JPV Marikina’s defeat to Ilocos United, was a massive boost to the club’s hopes of finishing in the top four and securing a place in the Finals Series. Kaya Makati face rivals Meralco Manila in their next PFL assignment. The match will take place at the University of Makati at 4pm, Saturday, September 30.