By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE exciting and highly competitive Saturday Philippines Football League (PFL) fixture in Cebu City between Kaya FC-Makati and host side Global FC ended in a goalless draw that left both teams tied in the standings.
The two sides had a number of opportunities to score a goal, but neither was able to consummate them to leave the Cebu City Sports Complex with a point each from the stalemate, tied with 29 points and good for joint second place at this point of the competition in the first season of the newly formed national football league.
Kaya dictated the pace of the contest much of the time but Global had first crack at scoring when Rufo Sanchez managed to fire a strong effort from the edge of the box in the 15th minute only to be thwarted by Kaya goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma.
The Makati-based team came back minutes later with its own assault as Jovin Bedic and Jordan Mintah combined to score.
But Ghanaian forward Mintah’s goal was canceled after the assistant referee flagged him for offside.
The competitive nature of the match continued in the second half with Kaya coming out very aggressive.
Forward Robert Lopez Mendy came close to scoring in the first two minutes while Mr. Bedic also had a shot at a goal thereafter.
Through it all Global survived them in front of its hometown fans.
Controversy ensued as the match wore on after Mr. Mintah scored from a deep free kick in the 67th minute only to be ruled an offside anew that had the visiting squad up in arms.
Kaya continued to put on the pressure on Global and had one last opportunity in the 90th minute when Mr. Lopez Mendy was picked out by a pinpoint Adam Reed cross, but the striker could only head the ball wide en route to settling for a draw.
Despite failing to come away with the full three points, Kaya was still high on its efforts, seeing how it competed well and held its own against a solid team like Global.
“Well first of all, it was a really an entertaining game — very exciting, the adrenaline was always high. We played quality football from the star, up to the finish. I think the way Kaya FC performed, we deserved the three points. I really want to watch the replay to see if the disallowed goals were offside,” said Makati head coach Noel Marcaida after the match.
“It was really a collective effort from my players. They played really well,” he added.
Kaya’s efforts did not go unnoticed by Global, which gave the visitors credit for playing the way it did in enemy territory.
“I think Kaya came here to be very compact. They defended in their half and they were looking for the counter because of the two strikers (Mintah and Lopez Mendy) that they have. But we took note of that even before the game,” Global head coach Akbar Nawas, for his part, said.
“I think they had been scoring in every game, so for us to shut them out, I think it’s a plus point,” he went on to say.