By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo hacked out a dominant 5-1 victory over the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws to stay undefeated in the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Monday night, September 25.
Abou Sy spearheaded the offense with two goals, while Ilonggos Jovin Bedic and Jan Jesus Melliza, and Mar Diano added a conversion each as the Iloilo City-based booters completed a sweep of their Group A matches.
Kaya-Iloilo opened the scoring in the fourth minute as Diano converted a header from a free kick by Arnel Amita. The lead was doubled eight minutes later as Bedic capitalized on the opponent’s defensive miscue for a conversion.
Two minutes later, Melliza made it a 3-0 score as he converted a powerful strike from distance, but the Tamaraws managed to pull one back just before the halftime break courtesy of Selwyn Mamon.
After missing the second half, the Iloilo City-based football club finally added to their advantage in the 74th minute as Sy knocked one in from close range from a pass by Robert Lopez Mendy.
Kaya-Iloilo then put on the finishing touches of the match as Sy completed his brace in the 77th minute with a well-placed tip in from a missed strike by Mendy from the box.
Amita, who was named as the Man of the Match, admitted that they had a hard time at some point following the ejection of goalkeeper Kenry Balobo after an altercation with Mamon late in the first half.
“Sobrang hirap kasi nag-down kami ng 10 men. Sobrang nag-adjust kami sa tactical [nung second half]. Nagawa naman kasi na-execute namin ang game plan namin,” Amita said in a post-game interview.
“Dine-dedicate namin ang game na ito kay Balobo and du’n sa performance ko naman, hindi ko naman magagawa ‘yun kung wala ang tulong ng mga teammates ko,” the former FEU standout added.
The Colum Curtis-mentored Kaya-Iloilo will next prepare for the quarterfinals round of the competition as well as their upcoming AFC Champions League game against South Korea’s Incheon United FC on October 3./ASC, WDJ