LOCAL football side Kaya FC-Iloilo missed out on getting the full three points in its 2019 AFC Cup opener after a late equalizer forced it to settle for a draw in Laos.
Seemingly on its way to a victory in its first game back in the tournament off a Jovin Bedic goal in the 18th minute, Kaya saw itself fall to a Group H stalemate with home team Lao Toyota FC when defender Sayfa Aphideth managed to break through in the 87th minute.
It was an outcome that left Kaya ruing and something it hopes to make up for in its game.
Kaya got off to a flying start at the Laos National Stadium, forcing Lao Toyota’s defense to work early.
Mr. Bedic’s goal put more pressure on their opponent while also propelling Kaya’s motor all the way to the break.
But Lao was not to go out easily, capitalizing on the opportunities presented to it.
Its efforts paid off late in the contest as Mr. Aphideth found himself in great scoring position and delivered accordingly with three minutes left in regulation time after catching a pass from captain Kazuo Honma.
Kaya still tried to salvage a win after but was unsuccessful in doing so and just settled for a point from the draw.
“We were unlucky not to get all three points. We played well in the first half. We were able to control things. But we didn’t play so well in the second,” said Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida post-match as he shared his thoughts on how it went for them in the match.
“There were two moments late in each half where we switched off. The last one cost us a goal. Moving forward we need to learn to be switched on for the full 90,” the coach added.
Incidentally, the other match in Group H between Home United FC of Singapore and PSM Makassar of Indonesia also ended in 1-1 draw, leaving all teams in the group with a point each after their debuts.
Kaya next plays on March 13 against Home United at the Panaad Park and Football Stadium while Lao Toyota travels to Indonesia to face PSM Makassar. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo