In the continuing action of 2015 United Football League (UFL) Cup, Division I team Kaya FC came up big as they smothered fellow top flight squad Team Socceroo, 5-0, Saturday, May 9 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Kaya FC charged early on to disrupt the defense of Team Socceroo. As early as the third minute, Louis Clark broke free from his defenders and was left alone with Team Socceroo goalkeeper Baba Sampana, who easily corralled the ball. Minutes after, it was Kaya FC midfielder Christian Ayew’s turn to dispose of Team Socceroo’s midfield and sent the ball to teammate Kenshiro Daniels, who shot the ball that Baba Sampana once again comfortably caught. The blue-shirts had a chance in the following play; but Beleu-Ebi Cleopas was too aggressive with his run and was called for a foul. Almost 10 minutes into the first half, Clark tapped a ball from a corner kick to the crossbar and into the net for the opening goal for Kaya. In the succeeding minutes, the leading team continued to press. Four minutes after the go-ahead score, Masanari Omura met a cross from Daniels and headed it into the back of the net to double their lead.
The former Cup champions did not stop their attack despite the lead. Kaya opened the scoring wide open in the 31st minute as Tishan Hanley added another goal into his name. Clark had a cross into the box and Hanley again used the crossbar to put the ball into the onion bag. The leading squad had chances for their fourth in the succeeding possessions, but could not finish. The team yellow finished the first half ahead at 3-0.
Both teams started the second half in a quiet manner with neither team capitalizing on each other’s tentativeness. Kaya was able to bring the ball to their attacking third, but their shots were denied by the scrappy defense of Team Socceroo. The trailing team appeared to be contented sitting on the defensive end, and the higher seeded team carried on with what they were doing most of the match. In the 86th minute, birthday celebrant OJ Porteria, who came in as substitute for fellow Azkal Joshua Beloya entered the scoresheet. Team Socceroo FC goalkeeper Sampana blocked an initial attempt only to land in the able legs of Porteria, and the national team striker fired the ball in from just outside the box for Kaya’s fourth goal. The relentless aggression by the group leaders did not end even in injury time. A minute into extension, Hanley headed in a pass straight to the back of the net to finish this rousing win for his squad, 5-0.
Kaya FC Team Manager Justin Tolentino expressed his surprise with the result. However, he believed that his wards did what they needed to do. When asked about the game plan, Tolentino shared that every team wants to disrupt the opponent in order to score.
Group leaders Kaya FC takes on Fleet Marine to try and keep their hold of the top spot. Team Socceroo, on the other hand will have a BYE on that match day.
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