Kaya, Ceres seek to build on gains as PH clubs resume AFC Cup quest against Singapore foes
OJ Porteria and Kaya manager Joel Villarino hope they would be able to take control of the match earlier this time. Jerome Ascano

KAYA FC and Ceres-La Salle seek to build on their gains as they resume their respective Asian Football Confederation Cup campaigns on Tuesday night.

Riding the momentum of their victories in the second-tier club competition in the continent, the Philippine representatives battle Singaporean counterparts, with Kaya taking on Balestier Khalsa and Ceres facing Tampines Rovers.

Coming off a dramatic 1-0 victory over New Radiant last week, Kaya banks on the home crowd anew as it hosts Balestier Khalsa at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

A win for the reigning United Football League Cup winner, which is running third in Group F with three points, will catapult the squad to the top of four-team standings. Balestier is on top with four points.

“This is the most important game right now,” Kaya star OJ Porteria said on the eve of the match that kicks off at 7:30 p.m. “I feel like if we get three points, we already have a foot into the next round.”

“But no game’s going to be easy,” added the Azkals striker, who sneaked in the game-winner against New Radiant four minutes into stoppage time. “So we have to play even better than we did last game.”

Fortunately, Kaya is once again playing in front of the home fans.

“We just take advantage of the crowd,” Kaya stand-in coach Joel Villarino said. “Balestier is one of the strongest teams in our group.”

On the other hand, Ceres, which shut out Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi, 2-0, on the opponents’ turf in Bangldesh, hopes to taste success away from home anew as the Busmen visit Tampines at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The encounter will simultaneously kick off as the Kaya-Balestier match with second-running Ceres also looking to take over from leader Tampines in Group E.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos