CHINA’S Shandong Taishan FC rained on Kaya FC Iloilo’s historic home debut in the AFC Champions League, posting a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at the wet grounds of Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The visitors pounced on the hosts’ defensive miscues to seize a 2-nil upperhand via Brazilians Moises Lima Magalhaes (63rd) and Matheus Santos and then offset Jarvey Gayoso’s milestone ACL strike at home (79th) with Cryzan Barcelos’ dagger goal (90+5).
Kaya, which held the distinction as the first Philippine club to play a home match in the ACL group stages, will try to bounce back when they visit Incheon United in Korea on Nov. 13.
Incheon opened its campaign with a 4-2 win over the Yokohama Marinos in their Group G duel in Japan.
“For sure the players are disappointed (with the loss), which is a good thing. They’re not here to just take part; they’re here to compete, try to win games. And that was clear with their performance and effort,” said Kaya coach Custom Curtis.
After an hour of stalemate under the pouring rain, the Chinese Super League got the chance to break through when Kaya’s Ricardo Sendra brought down Mr. Moises inside the box. The Shandong skipper took care of business from the spot against Quincy Kammeraad to draw first blood.
Mr. Santos, who goes by the name Pato, then made Kaya captain Fitch Arboleda pay for a defensive mistake, delivering the Chinese’ second goal in a 1v1 with Mr. Kammeraad.
Sub Mr. Gayoso raised hopes of a comeback when he latched on to a defense-splitting pass from Mr. Sendra, rounded Shandong custodian Han Rongze and fired into an open net to make it 2-1.
Mr. Cryzan, however, put the game beyond reach with his strike deep into stoppage time. — Olmin Leyba