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Kaya-Iloilo smothers Maharlika Manila, widens PFL lead

Kaya-Iloilo is starting to pull away from the pack. Kaya FC-Iloilo
By Stewart Tan

MANILA—Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo widened its lead in the 2022-2023 Philippines Football League after a dominant 5-0 victory over Maharlika Manila Football Club on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Daizo Horikoshi, Dylan Nobiraki, Eric Giganto, Jhan-Jhan Melliza and Tamon Horikoshi scored a goal each as the Iloilo City-based booters increased their record to 36 points, on 12 wins and three defeats, 11 points clear of Dynamic Herb Cebu.

Kaya-Iloilo opened the scoring in the 16th minute as Milad Behgandom turned and found Daizo at the bottom right corner for a clean finish. It was followed by a connection by Nobiraki from a broken play at the 44th minute for a 2-0 score.

Kaya-Iloilo’s goal spree continued in the second half as homegrown booter Melliza connected on a spot kick penalty at the 49th minute after he was grabbed from behind by a defender.

Giganto joined the scoring fray in the 68th minute as he struck on an off-foot volley from a cross by Daizo. Tamon capped the scoring for Kaya-Iloilo in the 82nd minute from a low cross by Jarvey Gayoso.

Despite the lopsided victory, Kaya-Iloilo head coach Yu Hoshide rued the Iloilo City-based football club’s slow start against Maharlika Manila, just like in their previous two matches against Cebu and Mendiola 1991.

“Actually, I am not happy with our win because we have a slow start again, but I am contented that the players gave us energy in the second half,” Hoshide said. “Overall, at least we got the three points.”

On the part of Maharlika Manila, they remained in last place in the standings with a solitary point on one draw and 12 defeats.

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