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Kaya pulls away from Laos on second half surge

KC Cruz/UFL
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- Kaya bucked an equalizer and early injuries to its starters to pull away from Laos, 6-1 to cap off the Valentines Day fixtures of the UFL Cup at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The holder had four different players on its score sheet with Robert Lopez-Mendy and Joven Bedic both bagged their braces to go along with a goal each from skipper Aly Borromeo and Dominic Del Rosario to put its cup defense back on track after opening their Group A campaign with a close loss to Stallion.

Stephen Nicholls' Kaya dominated every match stats, for the club dominated 65 percent of the possession and outshot Laos by 16 to buck the early substitutions of Louis Clark and Miguel Tanton due to their injuries.

Aaron Altiche equalized for the Division 2 champions but lost steam in the second half as they were condemned to the cellar of Group A.

The combined 26 fouls by both clubs showed the physical nature of the match but only three yellow cards were issued by referee Linjun Talaver.

Kaya started the match on the front foot as Julian Matthews and Clark had their shots went over and saved by Jhun Tripulca.

Tanton became the first casualty of this physical match when he was hit in the elbow by Cheick Camara in front of the Kaya touchline and escaped without a card.

Lopez-Mendy draw first blood seven minutes later when he headed home a bouncing corner kick into the left corner post.

Altiche equalized ten minutes later when he fired home a cross from Hamed Hajimahdi to beat Michael Acton from close range.

The Senegalese marksman duly restored order four minutes from halftime, as he calmly nutmegs Tripulca from close range to regain the upper hand.

Kaya could have made it 3-1 but Lopez-Mendy's header was disallowed for an infraction.

But the reigning holders finally get their deserved third goal in the 77th minute thru Bedic who just came on five minutes earlier for Janrick Soriano. He volleyed a bouncer with his left foot past a grounded Tripulca to put the match beyonbd doubt.

Borromeo then followed three minutes later with a low, right footed shot to the bottom right corner to make it 4-1.

Del Rosario then entered the fray with six minutes left, as he beats Tripulca and finishes on an empty net.

Bedic then completed his brace in stoppage time with a calm finish off a Lopez-Mendy feed for the full-time score.

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