Kaya Iloilo survives Stallion Laguna in virtual PFL title eliminator

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Lady luck shone on Kaya Iloilo after escaping Stallion Laguna with a 3-2 win in a crucial PFL battle on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

With huge title race implications, both clubs display superb defense to keep the match goalless for most of the first half.

However, former Stallion Laguna star Jhan-Jhan Melliza broke the ice for Kaya Iloilo with a close-range goal in the first-half stoppage time.

Audie Menzi made it 2-0 for the defending PFL champs in the 58th minute after heading in a goal off Melliza's corner kick.

Pancho Gomez, making his PFL debut, struck one back for Stallion Laguna in the 70th minute even as the club had numerous chances to equalize.

In the 88th minute, though, Jarvey Gayoso shot what was deemed as the dagger as he scored off another corner to make it 3-1.

Abe Placito tried to keep Stallion Laguna in the match after scoring in the fourth minute of added time to make it 3-2, but the club did not have enough time to complete the comeback.

The loss officially shut the door on Stallion Laguna's hopes of winning the PFL title or at least qualifying for the AFC Champions League 2 next season as they remained stuck at 29 points with only one match left.

However, they could still derail Dynamic Herb Cebu's hopes of winning it all if they beat them at the Dynamic Herb Sports Complex in Talisay City on Saturday night.

Regardless of what happens in the title race, Cebu officially sealed its place in ACL 2 with Stallion Laguna's loss.

Kaya Iloilo, on the other hand, overtook Cebu anew at the top of the table with 34 points, but up next for the boys from Pavia is a huge showdown against another title contender, Davao Aguilas, next Sunday.

Davao is facing Maharlika Taguig later Sunday as they bolster their own title run.

In the first match, United City clobbered Loyola with a 6-0 win to momentarily tie Davao for fourth place.

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