In another exciting Wednesday double-header at the Aboitiz Pitch in The Outlets in Lipa, the top two clubs in the country came out on top of their respective matches to go toe-to-toe at the top of the pecking order.
In the first match, Kaya FC-Iloilo faced Global-Cebu FC who has bolstered their squad during the transfer window as they got the services of Paolo Bugas. He proved the be a real threat against Kaya whenever he threads the left side of the pitch.
The first half played out well for the Copa Paulino Alcantara title holders as a brace from Jordan Mintah on the 14th and the 45th minute put them on the driver seat.
It was a different story though on the second half as Global pushed for a goal to bring them back into the match. Threats coming in from Chima Uzoka, Bugas and Kennedy Uzoka were quite evident but didn’t pose any real chances in front of the goal.
It was quite a shaky start for the visitors as Mendiola tried to contain them in the middle of the field but the defending champions’ organized formation, as well as ball movement, proved to be the difference.
On the 17th minute, Bienvenido Marañon made a blistering run down the right flank before trying to score from close range. His effort was saved by Dini Outtara but the lucky bounce fell to Mike Ott who then finished the play.
The busmen smelled blood and they continued to push for more. On the 22nd minute, Robert Lopez Mendy scored a magnificent goal over Ouattara as he exquisitely chipped the ball over the keeper.
Despite being down by two goals, Mendiola didn’t want to go down without a fight. On the 30th minute, Roberto Corsame Jr. broke loose on the left side before passing the ball to the middle for Ashley Flores.
Flores then left it for the streaking Allen Angeles who then rifled it into the back of the net to pull one back for the home side. It was a short-lived momentum though as the titleholders pulled another rabbit out of the hat.
A counter-attack was launched by the busmen which found Marañon free on the left side, however, he unselfishly gave the ball to Mendy who then fired it into the back of the net to score his brace and his sixth goal for yellow and white after just five games.
Into the second half of the match, the busmen might’ve taken their foot from the pedal but were magnificent to watch whenever they make the ball work for them.
They put the final nail in the coffin on the 61st minute after a patient run of play. Dylan De Bruycker sent an incisive pass to the path of Mendy who then gave the ball back to De Bruycker.
De Bruycker then found Ott free on the right who slotted the ball under the diving Ouattara to the jubilation of Ultras Ceres who travelled for the said match.
The action continues on the 24th of August as Kaya FC-Iloilo will continue to breathe down the defending champions’ necks in their attempt to dispatch Stallion Laguna FC.
Saturday’s doubleheader will also see Philippine Air Force FC who’s looking for their third win in the league as they face Green Archers United who will try to shoot for third place.
Photo Credits: Philippines Football League