Still fresh from their chastening 0-3 loss at the hands of Global Football Club last week, Kaya FC needed a win in order to maintain their chase for the 2016 United Football League title. They did just that in impressive fashion, as they dominated Green Archers United FC 5-1 yesterday (June 19, 2016) at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
OJ Porteria (31′ penalty), Louis Clark (59′ penalty), Woody Ugarte (75′) and Robert Lopez-Mendy (80′ & 90+1′) scored the goals for Kaya, while Ariel Salahit (84′) pulled one back for the Archers. The result allowed Kaya to continue challenging for the championship at 4th place with 12 points. On the other hand, the Archers are stuck at seventh place with seven points.
It took a while for Kaya to get going in the game. The Archers made goalkeeper Matthew Acton a busy man, when he produced fine saves against Chieffy Caligdong and Jhan Meliza. Kaya then gradually controlled possession of the ball and left the Archers hoping to spring a counterattack.
After some wayward shots which failed to hit the target, Kaya hit the jackpot when they were awarded a penalty. A clumsy challenge from Archers goalkeeper Henri Bandeken Fong brought Clark down in the box, and Porteria converted the spot-kick in the 31st minute.
Porteria could have added to the tally seven minutes from the break after he unleashed a powerful volley towards goal, which was parried away by Bandeken Fong. Kaya carried a slender 1-0 lead over Archers at halftime, with both teams looking to improve on things at the recess.
Come the second half, Kaya evidently shifted gears in order to overcome the Archers. Kaya won another penalty due to handball, and Clark calmly doubled their lead in the 57th minute. Kaya then dominated the match from that point. The solid base of Kaya’s dominance was unquestionably Acton, who denied Caligdong with another good save to keep the 2-0 scoreline.
In spite of the two-goal lead, Kaya kept on attacking. Substitute forward Ugarte eluded his marker to score Kaya’s third goal in the 75th minute, and then Lopez-Mendy converted a Clark assist to get a goal for himself in the 80th minute.
The Archers pulled one back courtesy of substitute Salahit scoring from a corner at the 84th minute, but it proved to be only a consolation goal. It was a sorry afternoon for the Archers, compounded by Lopez-Mendy’s goal, a minute into stoppage time (90+1′) that was the icing on the cake of Kaya.
Kaya coach Chris Greatwich was a satisfied man after the game. Greatwich said, “I’m pleased that we bounced back from last week’s defeat. We put in a professional performance. We scored some really, really good goals; well worked goals. I’m pleased with the reaction of the team.“
Up next for Kaya is an early 7:30AM game against Pasargad FC on Saturday (June 25, 2016) at Rizal Memorial. As for the Archers, they hope to bounce back against Agila FC at Wednesday (June 23, 2016; 4:00PM) at the same venue.