Kaya FC–Iloilo renew hostilities with Air Force

KAYA FC–Iloilo defender Shirmar Felongco (left) of Calinog, Iloilo and head coach Noel Marcaida.

IT’S BEEN six years since Kaya FC–Iloilo and Philippine Air Force last faced off in the top flight of Philippine football, a run that ends on June 29, 2019, 4 p.m., at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The clash between the two is the first of a double header in the Philippines Football League, with Ceres Negros and Mendiola FC 1991 going head-to-head at 7PM.

Kaya enter the contest looking to keep their run of four straight PFL wins alive.

Head coach Noel Marcaida, who saw his side concede their first goals of the domestic season in their last match, is wary of letting standards slip at the weekend.

“We forgot how to manage the transition in the Mendiola game, that’s why we conceded three goals,” he said of the match that ended 6-3.

“We are expecting Air Force to stay compact. We expect them to give us a hard time to create spaces. They’re known for their aggressiveness. We will be expecting a more physical challenge,” he said.

“We will try to get a goal in the first half, so that we can control the tempo of the game throughout.

Marcaida also went on to praise Eric Giganto, who scored two goals in Iloilo’s last outing.

“When I gave him the chance, he took the challenge and scored goals. They weren’t easy goals, especially the second one, a volley from outside the box. He worked for it, and he deserved it,” he said. “Going into the Air Force game, he will have more minutes to play. Hopefully he will continue to score goals. That’s what we need in Saturday’s game.”

Without a goal since April of 2018, Eric Giganto was ecstatic to make the most of his return to the starting lineup.

“I’m thankful that I contributed to the team, especially since the goals were important. I’m thankful to my teammates for the confidence and trust that they gave me. I just did my best and I was rewarded with two goals,” he said. “We can’t relax. As our coaches say, ‘Anything can happen.’ We need to do our best. For me, I’m just going to try to do even better than in my last game – my first 90 minutes in a while – and hopefully I can last throughout the match, stay focused, and be able to contribute.”