Coach believes Kaya FC is still in title race

Kaya FC Head Coach Noel Marcaida (Left) and Kaya FC goalkeeper Michael Casas

KAYA FC–Iloilo relied on Jordan Mintah’s early goal to eke out victory over Stallion Laguna last Saturday. The result kept the club in pace with leaders Ceres Negros, who hold a six-point advantage with 10 matches left in the Philippines Football League.

“Every time we play Stallion, it’s always a struggle because their style of play is tough to manage, especially when we’re losing the ball in our own half. There were moments when we allowed them to play their game,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida.

“But nevertheless, these three points are extremely important for us. In the long run in the league, these are three points that can help us stay in the hunt and chase down top spot.”

Saturday’s triumph was the club’s third over Stallion this season, and extended their PFL winning run to four.

Although the club achieved maximum points on the night, the win came with an unfortunate price.

Iloilo natives Shirmar Felongco and Jovin Bedic both needed to be withdrawn due to injury, with the former replaced by Janrick Soriano early on, and the latter needing to be stretchered off just before the full time whistle.

“Noy (Shirmar) felt something while he was applying pressure on the ball. He asked to be removed before it turned into anything serious,” Marcaida explained.

“Jovin unfortunately sprained his ankle in the last minute of the game. Talking to our physical therapists, they say it’s not a major sprain, so hopefully Jovin will be ready ahead of his call up to the national team.”

Marwin Angeles missed the match due to injury as well, but should be fit for the team’s next outing.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Michael Casas, who was named Man of the Match for his efforts in preserving the lead, was full of praise of his teammates’ work ethic.

“For me, everyone in our team is a man of the match. Everyone worked hard together, and I think we all deserve to be recognized,” he said. “One of the most difficult things about scoring early is keeping focus. I’m so proud of my teammates in the way we worked together to keep Stallion out.”