KAYA FC sustained its momentum even as Ceres-La Salle avoided a defeat as the Philippine representatives put up gallant stands against Singaporean clubs in their Asian Football Confederation Cup matches on Tuesday night.
Kaya nipped Balestier Khalsa, 1-0, for its second straight win to gain a provisional hold of the top spot in Group F and protect a two-match home stand at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Ceres, on the other hand, forced a 1-1 draw against Tampines over at the Jalan Besar Stadium to stay in step with their pacesetting opponents in Group E.
Antonio Ugarte struck the lone goal that mattered early in the first half for Kaya, while Adrian Gallardo headed home the equalizing goal for Ceres late in the second half.
Kaya put up a resolute defensive stand throughout the match, with Ugarte’s strike three minutes after intermission spelling the biggest difference.
“The instruction was just to keep the performance from the first half and as much as possible score early in the second," said Kaya stand-in coach Joel Villarino, whose team hiked its point total to six points in three matches.
Ceres, for its part, improved to five points after picking up a second draw against a win.