KAYA FC-Makati sustained its fine form of late in the Philippines Football League on Wednesday, rolling to its fourth straight win with a 5-2 victory over Ilocos United FC at its University of Makati Stadium.
Drawing a hat trick from forward Jordan Mintah, Kaya (7-2-3) sustained its resurgence after hitting a rough patch previously in the newly created national football league, and is now back on top of the standings with 23 points in 12 games, tied with FC Meralco Manila (7-2-1).
Mr. Mintah’s first goal came in the seventh minute of the match which was countered by Ilocos in the 29th minute off a penalty shot by John Kanayama to level the count.
But Kaya was unrelenting and reclaimed the lead, 2-1, with Mr. Mintah once again on the firing end in the 34th minute.
Fellow forward Robert Mendy padded their lead to 3-1 in the 58th minute before Eric Gaganto joined the scoring parade in the 69th minute.
Graham Caygill pulled visiting Ilocos to within two points, 4-2, in the 81st minute but Mr. Mintah would put the finishing touches to the match five minutes later with a clinical goal to secure his hat trick.
Notching their fourth straight victory, Kaya coach Noel Marcaida gave credit to their hard work in training for making things happen for them.
“Basically it’s hard work. The players have really been playing consistently in training. And also, the players have been able to manage themselves to recover despite the heavy schedule that we’ve had this July,” said the Kaya coach.
As for his match hat trick, Mr. Mintah said it was a result of team work as well.
“First of all I give thanks to almighty God for giving me my first hat trick in the league. It’s not easy. I worked so hard for it. But the entire team worked so hard for it as well. So I thank the teamwork, too,” the forward from Ghana said.
The loss added to the misery of Ilocos (0-3-8), which remained winless in the PFL and with only three points to show for.
Just the same, the team is taking it in strides and using its experiences to better itself moving forward.
“We scored two goals. [With] Two goals you should be able to get a point. But you can’t leak five. Kaya were the better team, I don’t deny that. We just move on and play Kaya again next week (sic) and hopefully we’ll get something better out of that,” said Ilocos United head coach Ian Gillan.
The two teams meet anew on Sunday.
Also victorious last Wednesday was Stallion Laguna FC, which finally barged into the win column after 12 games with a 2-0 win over the suddenly skidding JPV Marikina FC.
A brace from Jesus Melliza (16’ and 63’) did it for Stallion (1-4-7) as it secured its first three full points in the PFL and pad its total points to seven, good for sixth in the eight-team field.
The defeat, meanwhile, was the third straight for JPV (6-0-5), which has dropped to fifth place with 18 points after going as high as second in the standings.
Meanwhile, PFL fixtures tomorrow will see the Meralco Sparks taking on Global Cebu FC (6-3-2) at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium at 4 p.m. and Ceres-Negros FC (6-1-2) battling Davao Aguilas FC (0-5-5) at 7 p.m. at Panaad Park and Football Stadium in Bacolod City.