Kaya FC–Iloilo got their AFC Cup campaign back on track with a 5-1 thrashing of Lao Toyota on Tuesday afternoon at the Panaad Stadium.

“I’m so happy. The last four games have been so hard for me. I keep asking, ‘what’s wrong with me?’ But god always answers ‘your time will come.’ Today is that day — three goals — I hope it will continue.,” said Jordan Mintah, who opened his AFC Cup account with a hat-trick.

First half goals from Jordan Mintah and Connor Tacagni set the early tone for the home side.

Marwin Angeles released Mintah on the right flank, where he out-muscled his defender and cut inside towards goal. With only the keeper to beat Jordan fired in between the shot stopper’s legs to open the scoring just 11 minutes in.

The score was doubled right before the break. Darryl Roberts centered Marwin Angeles’ corner for Connor Tacagni to nod in. The goal was the midfielder’s first in the competition.

Lao Toyota came alive in the second half, striking the post and forcing a fine save from Michael Casas shortly after the restart. But Mintah derailed the visitors’ momentum in the 66th minute. Tyler Matas played a ball in behind for Jordan, who nicked the ball away from the onrushing keeper and slotted in the team’s third.

Kazuo Honma pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining, but the fight back was short lived. Just moments after coming on, Yannick Tuason latched on to Mintah’s knock on and fired in a low drive for his first AFC Cup goal. Then to add the icing to the result, Mintah completed his hat-trick right before the full time whistle with a delightful long range strike.

“I’m so happy for my boys. That was hard work from start to finish,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “In general, we played really well today. With this result, we now look forward to our visit to Singapore on May 14.”

The win pushes Kaya back to second in the Group H standings with eight points, ahead of Home United (7pts) and Lao Toyota (1pt). PSM Makassar continues to lead the group with 11 points. (Kaya FC)