MANILA – Kaya Iloilo advanced to the semifinal round after a 1-0 win over JPV Marikina in the 2018 Philippine Football League – Copa Paulino Alcantara at the PFF Articificial Turf Pitch in Carmona, Cavite.
Robert Lopez Mendy’s first half goal Wednesday was more than enough for Kaya to secure a home field advantage when it faces Stallion Laguna on Sunday at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
“It was a hard-fought battle to get the No. 1 spot in the group but we’re happy that the objective was met,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “We’ll be playing the semifinals in Iloilo on Sunday.”
Kaya got the start it wanted with Lopez Mendy slipping the ball past the defense of JPV Marikina goalkeeper Nelson Gasic in the seventh minute from a pass by Jalsor Soriano.
The Iloilo team struggled since then – it even hit a road block in the second half when Camelo Tacusalme was sent off with a second yellow card in the 67 minute for an aerial challenge on Kennedy Uzoka.
Despite being decimated to 10 players, Kaya managed to came up with a huge defensive stance, forcing JPV not to convert until the final whistle.
In the other match, Davao Aguilas also secured home semifinals matches after a 4-0 domination over Stallion Laguna, with Phil Younghusband and Kim Sungmin scoring two goals each.
From a scoreless battle early on, Younghusband broke the tie just before the break for a 1-0 edge. Since then, it was all Aguilas – Kim converted in the 70th minute followed by another from Younghusband and another from him for the shutout win./PN