Kaya-Iloilo looked close to securing its first point in the 2021 AFC Champions League, but an 83rd-minute strike from Sarach Yooyen condemned it to a 1-0 loss at the hands of BG Pathum United, Thursday evening at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The result leaves Kaya in last place in Group F with zero points. Meanwhile, BG Pathum United now has 12 points.
“I think our performance was excellent,” commented coach Graham Harvey. “We worked really hard without the ball, we were disciplined, we were organized. Unfortunately for us, just one split second too late from a second phase of a corner cost us our first points in the Champions League. We are bitterly disappointed we didn’t get the result or at least get some points on the board, but we were just unlucky is all.”
Thai midfielder Sarach found the opening he needed to break the deadlock late in the game. Kaya failed to clear its lines off a set-piece, which allowed the 29-year-old to race into the box. He then made the cool finish needed to draw first blood.
Despite being on the receiving end of BG Pathum United’s dominance, Kaya was able to finish the first half without conceding a goal. One of the best opportunities for BG Pathum United to score came near the hour mark, when Diogo headed the ball wide when he was unmarked.
Come the second half, Surachat Sareepim almost broke the deadlock for the Thai League 1 side. His shot went past Kaya goalkeeper Zach Banzon, only for the ball to be denied the post. Banzon was then forced to perform a fine save to prevent Sarach’s shot from going in.
Kaya forward Kenshiro Daniels had a chance to provide a goal for the Filipino club. Instead, he saw his shot saved by BG Pathum United goalkeeper Chatchai Bootprom.
“As you saw in the second half, the game opened up a little bit especially with the rain in the last 20 minutes,” Harvey added. “I think that one breakaway chance that we had with Kenshiro (Daniels), a great opportunity to get our names in front. Then I think it could’ve been a tougher game for BG.”
Kaya ends its 2021 AFC Champions League campaign this Sunday, 6:00 PM Manila time, against Vietnam’s Viettel Football Club.
Kaya-Iloilo XI: Banzon (GK), Bedic ©, Angeles, Daniels, Fujii, Casambre, Daizo, Mitchell, De Bruycker, Rota, Menzi.
BG Pathum United XI: Chatchai (GK), Chaowat, Victor ©, Sarach, Diogo, Thitiphan, Surachat, Teerasil, Chatree, Tunez, Yodrak.