By Edri Aznar
KAYA FC-Iloilo finished in second place in the shortened Philippines Football League (PFL) 2020 season after a 2-1 win over newly crowned champion United City FC on Nov. 9 at the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
It was a crucial match for Kaya FC-Iloilo as the Azkals Development Team (ADT) had beaten Stallion Laguna FC earlier in the morning. Kaya FC-Iloilo came into its final match at third place with eight points, while ADT was up by a point.
UCFC had already clinched the title last Nov. 6 after winning four straight matches. UCFC benched starters star striker Bienvenido Marañon, forward Robert Lopez Mendy, Hikaru Minegishi, Japanese midfielder Takashi Odawara, Manny Ott, Sean Kane and goalie Anthony Pinthus.
Kaya FC-Iloilo immediately pressed the action with a couple of goal attempts in the opening 10 minutes. Kaya FC-Iloilo found its mark in the 15th minute with a goal by Kenshiro Daniels coming from a cross by Eric Giganto.
Mike Ott and OJ Clarino both had an opportunity to score the equalizer but missed their target. Carlyle Mitchell made it 2-0 before halftime with a goal from a cross in the 38th minute.
Marañon and Odawara were subbed in the 46th minute, while Minegishi and Mendy went in in the 64th minute to give UCFC more firepower. UCFC finally found the back of the net in the 83rd minute with a goal by Manny Ott.
UCFC was aggressive in search for the equalizer, but Kaya FC-Iloilo goalkeeper Louie Casas was quick on his feet and deflected attempts by Schrock and Marañon, while Mendy’s attempt went wide.
Meanwhile, ADT clinched third place with a 2-0 win over Stallion Laguna FC. Yrick Gallantes scored in the 52nd minute, while Jarvey Gayoso sealed it with a goal in the 61st minute.
On the other hand, Mendiola FC 1991 got its first win of the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Maharlika Manila FC. Aaron Altiche scored the opening goal in the 25th minute, and Jim Ashley Flores hit the back of the net in the 90th minute.
Mendiola FC 1991 faces Stallion Laguna FC on Nov. 12 for the league’s last match. The winner will finish fourth in the tournament.