Kaya-Iloilo stuns Azkals Development Team for opening PFL win

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2022 10:18 AM

As the minutes slipped away, it looked more and more like the Azkals Development Team would figure in a scoreless draw with Kaya-Iloilo in the opener of the Philippines Football League 2022 season at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. 

Suddenly, Eric Giganto won the ball in the air off Kaya-Iloilo's second and last corner kick of the match to head home a game winner just past ADT goalkeeper Julian Schwarzer who had been brilliant all match long.

Schwarzer had stopped all three shots on target (out of eight attempts up to that point). 

However, with less than a minute left in regular time and perhaps not much extra injury time, it sunk the youthful footballers' spirits. 

It was enough to tow Kaya-Iloilo to a 1-0 win.

Giganto, a late substitute for Kaya-Iloilo, had two earlier chances to score late in game but he flubbed each shot including one that went straight to Schwarzer when he was better served slipping under towards the first post.

The goal sucked out the air from the ADT that performed gallantly all match long. The youngsters allowed only three shots at goal in the first half of play. Kaya-Iloilo adjusted upon the resumption of play and began to test Schwarzer in earnest. 

However, late in the game, the ADT through Dennis Cheung, Syrun Saut, and John Lloyd Jalique began to make runs and attacks deep inside Kaya territory. 

Cheung had superb chances late in the game right before Giganto’s game winner. The best one was when he split the defense and was able to fire away but his shot went wide right. 

The ADT gave Kaya-Iloilo a tough fight. Save for the middle of the second half and towards the end of the match, the ADT played superb defense.

Although Kaya-Iloilo got off nine shots, only three were on target. The ADT squeezed in two good shots but they didn’t trouble Kaya-Iloilo keeper Kenry Balobo. 

Kaya-Iloilo also had two corner kicks with the last one being converted by Giganto.

 

“Given that the ADT was only able to train for less than two weeks and going up against a Kaya team that has competed in the AFC Champions League and has been training for months (we did just alright),” said ADT head coach Jovanie Villagracia. “Then we were missing our striker Andres Aldeguer and he is our only legitimate striker.” 

Aldeguer who is in the United States to try out for several US Division 1 colleges that invited him is expected to suit up for the ADT’s next match.