Kaya Iloilo's title hopes dashed after draw with Mendiola

Kaya Iloilo's title hopes dashed after draw with Mendiola

Soul Ndepe, Kenry Balobo, and the rest of Mendiola's defense put up a gallant stand in potentially closing the door on Kaya Iloilo's title hopes. PFL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Kaya Iloilo's chances of winning the PFL title is now in jeopardy after a second straight draw.

On Friday, Mendiola played spoiler by holding Kaya Iloilo to a goalless draw at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona.

Kaya Iloilo could not finish the job despite the ton of shots it took as Mendiola keeper Kenry Balobo kept a clean sheet this time three days after showing promise by saving Marvin Angeles' penalty.

Balobo first got a sigh of relief in the fourth minute as Carlyle Mitchell's close range shot off a Kenshiro Daniels corner went high above the post.

Kaya Iloilo appeared to have finally scored off a corner in the 12th minute, but the referee waved it off after calling a foul on one of its players.

Balobo got his time to shine in the 22nd minute when he saved Jayson Panhay's free kick from the right elbow.

Daniels then tried his luck off a corner in the 23rd minute, but his shot went high as well.

Daizo Horikoshi had a chance in the 25th minute, but Mendiola's backline deflected his strike.

The Mendiola defender then foiled two pointblank shots from Mitchell in the 26th minute.

Mendiola still got a shot in the first half stoppage time, forcing Mike Casas to save the ball.

Just after the second half began, Aaron Altiche had Mendiola's best shot at goal, but his header was just off right.

Jovin Bedic found some opening from the left flank in the 57th minute, but his shot went off target.

Marvin Bricenio threatened Kaya Iloilo's defensive unit in the 70th minute with a shot from just outside the box, but a deflection gave Casas a chance to grab the ball.

In the 71st minute, Balobo pulled off a great stop against Dylan De Bruycker, who was wide open inside the box in what was arguably Kaya Iloilo's best chance.

Eric Giganto then had his 79th minute shot checked by Mendiola's defense.

Giganto tried again in the 80th minute with some space, but Balobo was there to take the ball.

Balobo then saved another Kaya Iloilo attempt in the 81st minute.

Substitute Alfred Osei came just close to finally score for Kaya Iloilo in the 85th minute, but his attempt barely breached over the crossbar.

Altiche had another chance at goal for Mendiola in the 88th minute, but his shot from the right side of the penalty area only hit the side netting.

Audie Menzi still had one more try for Kaya Iloilo early into the second half stoppage time, but his rocket went straight to Balobo.

Bedic had one final shot for Kaya Iloilo, but Balobo was quick to thwart his attempt.

The draw only pulled Kaya Iloilo up to eight points after four matches, just one point behind league leading United City.

However, United City can clinch the PFL title outright later Friday if it beats Stallion Laguna.

Meanwhile, despite staying at the bottom of the table, the draw assures that Mendiola will not leave the bubble season blanked.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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