KAYA FC-Iloilo extended their perfect start to the 2019 Philippines Football League season on Wednesday afternoon, downing Mendiola FC 1991, 6-3, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Jordan Mintah bagged a hat-trick to lead the way for Kaya, while Eric Giganto and Shirmar Felongco found the back of the net as well.
Although eventual winners in the nine-goal shootout, the match got off to a shaky start for Iloilo. Just three minutes into the contest, Aaron Altiche beat the offside trap and kept his cool to give Mendiola a surprise lead. It didn’t take long for Kaya to respond.
From the left flank, Giganto delivered a pinpoint cross for Mintah to head. The Ghanaian forward’s initial attempt was blocked, but the save went straight back for him to bundle in. The go-ahead came in sensational fashion in the 22nd minute through Shirmar Felongco.
Spotted making a darting run, the left back got the ball at the left corner of the opposition box, and unleashed a rocket that nestled into the far corner of the goal. Kaya took the slight, 2-1, advantage heading into the break, and were quick to pounce after the restart.
Just three minutes into the second half, Eric Giganto cut inside from the left flank and buried his first goal of the season to extend Kaya’s advantage.
Mendiola kept the game close with a goal of their own just 10 minutes later, but their hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished. From a botched clearance, Giganto smashed in a wonder goal from the edge of the box to make it 4-2.
Mintah put the game beyond reach with four minutes remaining, freezing his defender and firing in from close range. The hosts managed to find a third goal to cut the deficit once more, but Iloilo managed to have the last word in the match.
From a lovely exchange with Jovin Bedic on the left flank, Chy Villaseñor got to the end line and delivered a low cross for Mintah to tap in.
The victory made it four straight wins for Kaya FC–Iloilo to start the 2019 season. The team next faces Philippine Air Force on June 29, 4pm, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.