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Stallion gets revenge on Kaya to start UFL Cup quest

KC Cruz/UFL
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--Stallion got its well deserved revenge on Kaya, ekeing out a close 1-0 win to open its campaign in the UFL Cup on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Jordan Mintah provided the solitary strike for the 2012 cup winner off a counterattack six minutes before the first half ended before the club's compact defense saved the day for Ernest Nierras, whose loss to the reigning holder in the semifinal last season was duly avenged.

The reigning champion found it out how hard it is to have Chris Greatwich at the grandstand rather than on the bench tonight as he was suspended following his dismissal in last year's final.

Assistant manager Stephen Nicholls assumed the lead role in his place for Kaya, whose roster was dramatically changed from last season after losing Nick O'Donnell to Global and Joshua Beloya to Stallion.

The men in black-and-gold started the attack in the kickoff as Joven Bedic, new signing Robert Lopez-Mendy, and the returning Antonio Ugarte found their shots either wide or being easily saved by Ref Cuaresma.

Stallion also had its share of opportunities on goal, mostly on the counter, but found little success as neither its open play nor its set pieces found past new Kaya keeper Michael Acton.

However, Stallion's counterattacking bore fruit in the 39th minute when Mintah tore the Kaya defense apart and curls his shot past Acton and into the net.

Cuaresma and the backline of Stallion then took over in the second half, stifling any attack of any manner by Kaya to preserve the scoreline and took all three points in this fixture.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada