By Adrian Stewart Co
Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo opened its 2021 Copa Paulino Alcantara campaign with a 2-0 triumph over Azkals Developmental Team on Sunday night at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
Daizo Horikoshi and Simone Rota converted a goal each in the second half to surge the title-favorites Kaya-Iloilo to the top spot in Group B standings with three points on a 1-0 slate.
Kaya-Iloilo and Azkals Developmental Team had their opportunities to score in the opening half but none of them capitalized for a scoreless draw for both squads at the half.
Kaya-Iloilo banked on their experience in the second half as they finally broke the 0-0 deadlock with a close-range conversion from Horikoshi at the 54th minute following a cross from the left flank.
The Azkals Developmental Team aimed for the equalizer as they dominated possession but Kaya-Iloilo players’ streetwise conduct helped them ride through the wave of pressure.
The Iloilo City-based football club was able to double their lead at the 70th minute mark as Rota put the ball at the back of the net after the Azkals defenders failed to clear their lines.
Kaya-Iloilo will go for a sweep of their group matches as they face Mendiola 1991 FC on Wednesday afternoon, while Azkals Developmental Team returns to the pitch against Mendiola on Saturday, November 13./ASC, WDJ