TAGUM, Davao Del Norte — James Younghusband scored twice in the second half as the Davao Aguilas settled for a point following a 2-2 draw against Kaya Iloilo in the 2018 Philippines Football League on Sunday at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex.
The hosts look like they were primed for a huge disappointment as Kaya pretty much controlled the first 45 minutes, winning the battle in the midfield to frustrate the new-look Aguilas side.
The visitors drew first blood with the returning Alfred Osei scoring off a scramble in the 18th minute after Joven Bedic lost the ball inside the box to open the scoring in the match.
The visitors continued to threaten and was rewarded anew at the turn of the half as Robert Lopez Mendy threaded the Davao backline before sending the ball to Connor Tacagni who headed in the second goal Iloilo in the 49th minute.
Just when the hosts looked beaten and deflated, Younghusband pumped in life in Davao’s cause as he scored a tap-in from the scramble two minutes later much to the delight of the Davaoenos in attendance.
James completed the brace in the 58th minute as he headed in the pass from his brother Phil to even the score at 2-2.
That seemed to turn the tide in the second half with the hosts looking more and more dangerous, especially after the insertion of attackers Angel Guirado, Sungmin Kim and Satoshi Otomo.
Younghuband nearly got his third but his attempt on the break went wide, while Kim also had his chance after linking up with Guirado only to be denied by Ref Cuaresma.
But nothing materialized for the home side as time expired with the score still tied at two apiece, with the two squads sharing the spoils after 90 minutes.
“Exciting game, I think it was a good result, a good start, not only for Dabao but for both teams. Unfortunately in the second half I think we deserved a third goal but Kaya was able to defend on that when we do our substitution to adjust the games. In the end I think, good start for us,” said Davao head coach Marlon Maro.
“The team has the talent. One important thing is I see the true character for my player. From 0-2 we were able to equalize in the second half. It’s a good sign to progress in our next matches,” he added.
Kaya likewise was satisfied to get a point although head coach Noel Marcaida believes that they still have to continue to work if they want to go places in the league.
“It’s better to get one point, not really a good result but we take this as a positive one. As I’ve said, very point that we get matters. Happy with the points but we really have a lot to work on,” said Marcaida.
Davao and Kaya sit at second and third respectively after the first week of action trailing JPV Marikina who got all three points on Saturday against Global Cebu. Defending champion Ceres Negros and darkhorse Stallion Laguna are yet to play after their Sunday match was postponed.