Kaya FC–Makati capped their busy run of four games in 15 days with a slim, 1-0, win over Stallion Laguna, Sunday, at the University of Makati Stadium. The victory meant the Makati club has amassed nine points over the last two weeks, and marked the team’s first run of consecutive triumphs in the Philippines Football League. Noel Marcaida’s side did lose Miguel Tanton to a red card, however, as the midfielder received two yellows in quick succession late in the game.
A first half strike from Marwin Angeles was the difference, in a match where each team had a period which they dominated. The opening half was in Kaya’s control, virtually from start to finish. Angeles and Tanton had a stranglehold in midfield, and starved Stallion of opportunities to build any threatening attacks.
“In the first half we kept the ball well,” said Marwin Angeles, who was named Man of the Match. “We knew Stallion would come out strong because they were coming from a loss to JPV.”
Unfortunately for Kaya, control of possession didn’t translate into many goals. Robert Mendy was presented with a great chance to open the scoring halfway through the period, but his outside-foot effort sailed over the bar from close range. Shortly after, the Senegalese forward fired straight into the keeper in a one-on-one situation, after being played through with a delightful pass from Angeles. The deadlock was finally broken five minutes from half-time, with Marwin firing in a left-footed strike, capitalizing on a scramble inside the Stallion box.
Laguna coach Armando Heria rued his team’s lapse in concentration after the match.
“It was not a good first half because, there was a single mistake by the defenders. They were not able to mark the area in front of the goal, where the goal was scored. A few changes of the players led to an improvement in the second half,” he said.
After the break, Stallion turned the game around, and forced Makati into plenty of defending. Nicholas Ferrer almost leveled the score in spectacular fashion, as his rocket from way out smashed off the crossbar. Several scrambles inside the Kaya box had the home support worried, but in the end, Zach Banzon earned his second clean sheet of the season.
“The second half, we had a lot of players struggling,” said Kaya head coach Marcaida. “We have to address it as a team because, it’s the third consecutive game where we really struggled in the second half. But we’re happy we got three points in this game, and we’re looking forward to the long break before the Meralco Manila game [on June 17].”
With the result, Kaya FC–Makati moves into second in the standings, with 10 points from five games (3-1-1). Stallion, meanwhile, endured their second consecutive defeat, keeping them rooted at the bottom of the standings with a solitary point after four matches (0-1-3).
With the PFL now observing the international break, Kaya will not see action until June 17, when they face off against Meralco Manila in a highly anticipated clash between heated rivals.