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Perseverance pays off for Kaya with Porteria game-winner

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—In front of a good-sized crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Kaya found itself in a grudge match with New Radiant in the AFC Cup as they went nearly 95 minutes without a goal.

But despite the visiting side's gallant defensive effort, Kaya continued to push through, and its resilience paid off just before the final whistle as OJ Porteria gave the home team the game-winning score.

"I think Kaya has its own spirit. They have the never-say-die spirit, and I think it came out in the game," said Playing Coach Chris Greatwich on Tuesday night right after the 1-0 win.

[Related Story: Porteria fires last-second winner as Kaya shines over New Radiant in AFC Cup home opener]

Assistant Coach Joel Villarino, who represented Greatwich at the post-match presser, added, "All the players did not give up until the last minute."

As a testament to the team not giving up, skipper Aly Borromeo bared he was motivating Janrick Soriano, who injured his lower leg in the second half and never returned, to continue on despite the pain already lingering in the first half.

"I told him, 'Janrick, kaya mo yan kahit for 45 minutes lang.' He's struggling, but he wanted to play on. So props to him. That's the team we have. We will fight together until the end. We will go the extra mile," Borromeo said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno