2019 PHILIPPINES FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Kaya FC–Iloilo keep hot start rolling

KAYA FC–Iloilo captain Jovin Bedic battles for the ball in Kaya’s 1-0 win over Global Cebu.

KAYA FC–Iloilo made it three straight wins in the 2019 Philippines Football League, as they dispatched of a resolute Global Cebu side at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon.

Alfred Osei scored the lone goal in a match where Global’s Nelson Gasic proved close to impenetrable in between the sticks.

Although the score line told of a close game, the flow of the action was rather one-sided. Kaya needed very little time to set the tone.

Just three minutes into the contest, Jordan Mintah struck the crossbar with a long range effort. Shortly after, the Ghanaian forward teed up Darryl Roberts for a close range effort, which Gasic palmed wide.

Nelson then denied Jovin Bedic, and Mintah once more before the half came to a scoreless close.

Arnie Pasibo, making his return to the starting lineup, was a constant threat for Iloilo on the right flank, regularly stretching Global’s shape to create scoring opportunities.

But like the rest of the squad, he was left to ponder what it would take to break through Cebu’s wall. As it turned out, it would require the unconventional.

In the 52nd minute, as Bedic was attempting to wriggle free inside Global’s box, the ball fell to Alfred Osei, who while on the ground, managed to opportunistically steer a low shot into goal.

Iloilo pressed on for a second, but Gasic was having quite the game, pulling off pointblank saves to again deny both Jordan and Jovin later in the half.

“Honestly, it was a lucky goal, but I’ll take that any day, especially with a performance like that, being that sloppy in front of goal. The chance was there, and I just took it. We had 19 shots in the first half, only four on target. That’s not good enough. When the ball came, I was thinking, ‘Just hit the target.’ Most importantly, we got three points on the board,” said Alfred Osei after the match.

The result pushed Kaya back to the top of the standings, with a maximum nine points from its opening three games, while yet to concede a single goal.

“It’s a good thing that we got three points today. As a bonus, we were able to maintain the clean sheet. That’s all that matters. But we have to be conscious moving forward,” said Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida. “It’s not that we played badly. We created chances, we were able to play that ball around well. But moving forward, we need to work on our finishing. We need to be more clinical and composed in front of goal.”

Kaya FC–Iloilo head right back to action on Wednesday, June 19, against Mendiola FC 1991.

“There’s always a bad day, and today might’ve been one of those days for us. It’s a good thing that it’s out of the way early. It’s a wakeup call for everyone. We have a quick turnaround. We need to stay focused and move on from this,” said Marcaida.