Jordan Mintah proved Ilocos United’s tormentor once again, as his first half header snatched a 1-0 victory for Kaya Makati at the Quirino Stadium. The result put an end to Kaya’s run of six games without a win in the Philippines Football League.
“We needed this win, we needed these 3 points. It’s the buildup for us to get back into the winning momentum,” said Makati head coach Noel Marcaida. “I think Kaya FC played well from start to finish. But the game looked tough because we kept on missing goal scoring opportunities. I think we could’ve finished the game as early as the first half if we finished all our chances.”
It took 34 minutes to break the deadlock at the Quirino Stadium. Robert Lopez Mendy did well to beat his defender and loop a cross over to the far post, where Jordan Mintah happily nodded in. The header turned out to be the game’s only goal, but few would’ve made that prediction given Makati’s number of chances. Jovin Bedic, Lopez Mendy, and Mintah all had great opportunities to score prior to the opener, and then again before half-time.
“We couldn’t finish in the first half. We had a lot of chances. If we finish three or four goals it would’ve been easy to win, but that’s football,” said Masanari Omura, who was named Man of the Match. “But even if we scored just one, we didn’t concede a goal.”
The Japanese center back played a key role in earning the club’s fifth clean sheet of the season, organizing a back line that had two personnel changes in the game. Julian Matthews came on to replace Kenshiro Daniels at half-time, while Antonio Ugarte finished at right-back after Jalsor Soriano suffered an injury.
“It wasn’t really difficult. Julian used to play in the starting 11. Woody (Ugarte) came on in the back line and that was a little bit hard, but I just said to him, ‘We’re winning 1-0, just sit back. As long as we don’t concede, we win,'” said Omura.
Jayson Panhay came on in the second half and had two fantastic opportunities to score. He also delivered a couple of delightful crosses, but neither Lopez Mendy nor Mintah could take advantage.
“We need our players to have more confidence in front of goal, to have more composure, and to be more clinical,” said Marcaida on what needs to be addressed ahead of next weekend’s game against Stallion.
“But despite the chances missed, we accept this win wholeheartedly. I think the outlook is positive. The main objective at the start of the league was to finish in the top four, so I think we’re still on the right track. We just keep moving on and keep improving,” he concluded.
Kaya Makati next faces Stallion Laguna on Saturday (September 23), 4pm, at the University of Makati.