Thrilling match ends in draw: Kaya Iloilo FC stays on top of PFL team standings
CEBU CITY, Philippines— As expected, the “Visayas Clasico” between the Cebu Football Club (CFC) and Kaya Iloilo FC brought football fans to their feet. The thrilling match ended in a 1-1 draw in the ongoing Philippines Football League (PFL) held at the Dynamic Herb-Borromeo Sports Complex on Sunday, April 23.
Both teams lived up to their lofty billing, entertaining the fully-packed grandstand with their no holds barred showdown.
The draw kept Kaya FC Iloilo on top of the team standings with 46 points after absorbing their first draw in the entire league with 15 wins and three defeats.
Meanwhile, CFC is close behind at second place with 44 points from a 13-1-5 (win-loss-draw) record.
Kaya scored the first goal in the game courtesy of Horikoshi Daizo at the eighth minute. Mar Vincent Diano perfectly executed a cross pass that was received by Daizo who easily flicked the ball past CFC’s goal keeper Florencio Badelic Jr.
However, 10 minutes later, CFC retaliated with an equalizer from Jacob Lao.
Jeremiah Borlongan orchestrated the play after a foul from Fitch Arboleda against CFC’s Rintaro Hama.
Borlongan’s long ball landed on Daniel Gadia’s possession. But the ball bounces in front of Lao who immediately strikes it to score the equalizer.
“For us, we always trained. I’ve done it a thousand times. For me it was a reflection of what we’re training. Instinctive na lang that when I saw the ball I have to strike it to the goal,” said Lao after the post-match presser.
Both teams were scoreless in the remainder of the match, but still gave the fans at the venue a thrilling and highly-physical showdown.
After the final whistle blew, CFC had better ball possession than Kaya with 54 percent while the latter only controlled the ball at 46 percent.
Also, CFC produced more shots with a dozen with nine of it on target. Kaya had 10 shots with nine on target.
The match’s physicality translated to each of the team’s total fouls. CFC incurred 13 fouls, while Kaya had 17 fouls. Both teams also absorbed one yellow card each.
For CFC’s head coach Mehmet Kakil, he was disappointed by his team’s performance despite the home court advantage.
“Of course, today’s an expected a physical match. Kaya is also fighting for first place. We’re also fighting for first place. Both teams were really aiming to get that spot. At the end of the day we did our best and we prepared for it. It’s one of our long awaited game. But anything can happen, when there’s a chance it happens. I’m not happy because we’re not able to get the three points,” said the Turkish Kakil through an interpreter.
Despite the outcome, Kakil remains optimistic that his team will bounce back in their last three remaining matches which are all crucial to determine their final ranking in the league.
“We have three more games here at home here in Cebu. All these games are must wins for us, we hope we will do our best for us. We also want to thank all the supporters who came here today to watch and support our game,” Kakil said.
CFC will host Stallion Laguna FC twice on May 21 and 24 at the same venue and the Azkals Development Team on May 27.
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