Antonio Ugarte redeems self with game-winner for Kaya against Balestier Khalsa in AFC Cup
Although his play in teh previous match wasn't bad, Antonio Ugarte was eager to show Kaya he can do much better. Jerome Ascano

ANTONIO Ugarte felt he has atoned for a mistake in Kaya’s last match in the Asian Football Confederation Cup with the marginal goal in the team’s 1-0 win over Balestier Khalsa on Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Given time and space, the Filipino-American winger struck the game-winner early in the second half from the edge of the box - his way of making up for a weak header that went straight to the ‘keeper less than 10 minutes left before stoppage time in the team’s 1-0 win over New Radiant last week.

“It was like redemption,” Ugarte said. “Being able to score the winner is a pretty good feeling.”

The 26-year-old player could’ve completed a brace, but his header late in the second half was also saved by Singaporean netminder.

[See Kaya FC sustains momentum with second win in row, Ceres salvages draw in AFC Cup]

It was one of the close calls that Kaya playing-coach Chris Greatwich felt his team should’ve converted.

“I just felt we weren’t really clinical enough in front of goal,” the former Azkals hero said. “I always felt we had the firepower to unlock them.”

“But I think Woody scored a fantastic goal,” he added. “And his overall performance was absolutely outstanding.”

Kaya, which gained the top spot in Group F with six points in three matches, tries to put up an put up an encore showing against Balestier as it visits the Singaporean foe in its turf on April 12.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos