Kaya FC scores huge win vs ASEAN champs

Kaya FC-Iloilo forward Darryl Roberts (30) scored a brace to lead his team to a 5-0 win against ASEAN Zone champions Home United of Singapore at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City Wednesday (March 13, 2019) afternoon. AFC photo

BACOLOD CITY — The emphatic 5-0 victory of the Philippines’ Kaya FC-Iloilo over reigning ASEAN Zone champions, Home United of Singapore, is a testament to the team’s hard work, head coach Noel Marcaida said.

“My players accepted the challenge. They’re very hungry to play in this level. They worked hard to be back in the AFC Cup, and it showed in this game,” Marcaida said after the match at the Panaad Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The first win at home in the AFC Cup 2019 earned the Filipino squad, which last played in the tournament in 2016, three points to top Group H with four points and a goal difference of five.

Darryl Roberts struck the opening goal in the second minute and delivered another in the 37th, only four minutes after Jovin Bedic scored. Alfred Osei hit the back of the net in the 49th and 55th to complete his own brace.

Roberts, who was named “Man of the Match”, said his first goal was a result of the team’s focus on training, “especially on set pieces.”

“We executed what was taught on the training pitch and for the first one, it worked out well,” the forward from Trinidad and Tobago said.

Marcaida lauded his players for accepting the challenge to take on the ASEAN champions.

“We created opportunities, and we scored goals,” he said. “Coming from two weeks of preparation, we were able to get the formula. I commend the players, for whatever role I gave them. They really performed.”

Home United head coach Saswadimata Dasuki said his players created chances, but had difficulties in converting those opportunities.

“After the second goal, we tried to control the game (but) whenever Kaya attacked, (make a) shot or hit, it turned into a goal. It was very, very tough for the boys,” he said.

Dasuki said the heat also affected the performance of his team.

“It’s the first time for the boys to play at 3 p.m. The heat, maybe they are not used to it. In Singapore, we played mostly at 5 p.m., which is cooler,” he said.

Dasuki remained optimistic that Home United would be able to bounce back.

“This is only our second game. We still have four games. Definitely, we want to win. We don’t give up, we will keep going,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kaya FC will play next against PSM Makassar of Indonesia at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogor on April 2. They will be back at the Panaad Stadium to face the same team on April 17. (PNA)