Laguna smothers Iloilo for back-to-back wins

Carlo Polli thanked God after scoring the dagger goal for Laguna. Art Enriquez/Stallion Laguna FC
By Kevin Estrada

BIÑAN -- Back at the comfort of their own stable, Stallion Laguna struck in both halves to subdue Kaya Iloilo with a comfotable 2-0 home win on Saturday.

It was a collective effort by Ernest Nierras and their herd as they even their season fixtures at two wins apiece and more importantly, reducing their gap at the table to just three points as the race to second heats up heading into the homestretch.

Right from the opening whistle, Laguna went right through the gates, giving the Iloilo defence little breathing space due to the blinding speed of their counters, with Fitch Arboleda wreaking havoc from the left wing.

It took the home side 27 minutes to shove themselves ahead as captain Ruben Doctora duly placed the ball into the left post past Ace Villanueva after fending off Camelo Tacusalme inside the box.

Felipe Tripulca had little to do on his debut, with his backline keeping the visitors in check the most of the way, who are clearly affected by the suspension of Robert Lopez-Mendy as they have limited options at the attack.

Paolo Bugas came on for Doctora midway into the second half for his Laguna debut and his presence added more horsepower into their attack.

And with just 14 minutes left, Carlo Polli delivered maximum points for Laguna by converting on a Fitch Arboleda ball, after the latter retrieved it from Abou Sy's initial effort which was saved by Villanueva.

Tempers flared near full time when Polli and Connor Tacagni both went down on various challenges that ignited a little scuffle, but cooler heads intervened to avoid a shorthanded ending to the match.

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