PLAYING at their home field wasn’t much of an advantage for the Busmen this time.
Kaya Iloilo claimed a huge scalp after beating Ceres 2-0, dealing the Negros club its first defeat in the 2018 Philippines Football League at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Robert Lopez-Mendy and Alfred Osei scored a goal each on Saturday night to lead Kaya in their surge to second place with 13 points on four wins, one draw and two defeats.
“The heartbreak against Ceres Negros is over,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “I said before the game it would take a collective team effort, and we got exactly that.”
Kaya was aggressive on the offensive end early with Lopez-Mendy converting in the 10th minute from a feed by Jordan Mintah. Ceres nearly equalized but Bienvenido Marañon’s free kick was defended by Nathaniel Villanueva.
Just before the break Kaya was able to double the advantage as Osei cruised past Ceres’ goalkeeper Toni Doblas for an inside hit from a nice feed by Miguel Tanton.
Kaya attempted to widen the lead further early in the second half with Lopez-Mendy and Mintah having shots at the goal but these were defended well by Doblas. Ceres also tried to rally back but could not make a decent attempt.
Tensions rose when Ceres’ Stephan Schrock and Kaya’s Camelo Tacusalme had an off-ball clash. Tacusalme was sent off after receiving his second yellow card in the game.
“Kaya fought very hard. They gave 200 percent just to win this game. It’s what we expected,” said Ceres’ interim coach Ian Treyes, whose squad remains on top of the standings with 15 points on five wins and one loss./PN