Kaya Makati pushed their winning streak to five in the Philippines Football League after a second consecutive victory over Ilocos United. But unlike the result three days prior (5-2), the home side were made to claw and scrape for a slim 2-1 win.
After dominating the opening exchanges and going unthreatened for half an hour, Makati opened the scoring in brilliant fashion. Found by Marwin Angeles in space a few meters out of the Ilocos box, Robert Mendy controlled, turned, accelerated, played a one-two with Eric Giganto, then calmly buried the game’s first goal. The lead would last for only 30 minutes though.
Just after the hour mark, Jalsor Soriano handled the ball inside the Kaya box, and John Kanayama fired in the resulting penalty, turning what was a comfortable outing for Makati, into a nervy affair.
In the end, Jordan Mintah eased the tension for the home crowd in the 81st minute, connecting with Miguel Tanton’s corner to finish from close range.
“It was a tough game. It’s really difficult to play back-to-back games against the same team. This was the kind of match where we struggled to create opportunities. Ilocos really played well defensively. But I’m really happy for the Kaya players, they responded well after that goal scored by Ilocos,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “We’ll take it. Three points, number one in the league so far, so we’re happy with the result.”
With their goals, Mintah and Mendy have now both scored in three consecutive matches. Jordan improved his total to nine, while Mendy now has seven.
“It’s easy to play with someone who is a good player. Him and me are complementary. He’s good in the air, I’m good with my feet. I really enjoy playing with him,” said Man of the Match Robert Mendy.
After briefly losing top spot to Meralco Manila, who drew against Global yesterday, Makati returned to the summit of the standings with 26 points, two more than their nearest rivals. The club has enjoyed a fruitful July, amassing 16 points so far, while remaining unbeaten. The impressive run has also included three consecutive victories at the University of Makati, where the team has only once tasted defeat.
“Basically it’s been hard work. It all boils down to the players hard work. Despite the heavy schedule the players are very disciplined making sure they recover quickly and that they’re fit to play,” said Noel Marcaida.
The match also saw the return of Antonio Ugarte to action, after missing out for two months due to a hamstring injury.
“It’s good that Woody is back. Those last 10 minutes that he played, those were quality minutes,” added Marcaida.
Kaya wraps up the busy month with a game against Stallion Laguna on July 30, in Biñan.
SEE THE GOALS HERE:
Robert Mendy’s Opener: https://mycujoo.tv/ch/340?vid=43553
Jordan Mintah’s Winner: https://mycujoo.tv/ch/340?vid=43584