Kaya Makati’s return to action in the Philippines Football League ended in disappointment, as JPV Marikina’s first half strike was enough to snatch a 1-0 victory at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The second period saw Makati take full control of the game, but Nelson Gasic was in fine form in between the sticks.
“For me, the talking point would be how we played in the first half. We gave them lots of space to work and that’s their game. They have very technical players,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “I just feel sad because, we had so many chances in the second half. It was complete dominance, a completely different story.”
Center back Masaki Yanagawa scored the game’s only goal from a corner kick, in what he later admitted was a rather fortuitous conversion. Having outmuscled Jordan Mintah at the far post, the Japanese defender stuck a leg out to connect with the ball, which crossed the line before Alfred Osei could hack it clear.
“I was able to break through with a run. I thought I made a mistake, but I got lucky and was able to score,” said Yanagawa after the game. “We really needed to win to reach the top four teams. I’m glad.”
After the goal in the 34th minute, Kaya came alive with two quick fire chances. Antonio Ugarte came close from a corner, and Marwin Angeles’ low drive was smothered by the keeper. The second half was a bombardment of Marikina’s box. Jovin Bedic forced a save from a blistering counter attack. Mintah tested the goalie with a strong near post drive. So did substitute Eric Giganto, whose stinging strike was palmed away.
“We have to move on and we have to work on how we start the full 90 minutes of football,” said Marcaida.
Kaya Makati next makes the long travel North to face Ilocos United on September 17. Despite the loss, Kaya still sits in second place with 32 points, but having already played two games more than any team in the top four. With third placed Global Cebu only two points behind, and JPV with 27 points, Makati’s position in the table is far from comfortable.