KAYA FC and Ceres-La Salle put the Philippines on the continental football map with sensational victories in the Asian Football Confederation Cup on Tuesday night.
Kaya turned to heroics of OJ Porteria to pull off a 1-0 escape act against New Radiant at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, before Ceres completed the double celebration by leaning on an early brace by Adrian Gallardo to shut out Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi, 2-0, in the opponent’s turf in Bangladesh.
Both Philippine sides thus barged into the win column in their respective groups after Kaya lost a close encounter against Kitchee in Hong Kong and Ceres settled for a draw against Selangor two weeks ago.
Kaya engaged their Maldivian foes into a defensive battle, before saving the best for last as Porteria struck the winner off a cross from the right in the last kick of the match four minutes into stoppage time.
Gallardo, on the other hand, only took four minutes of offensive brilliance early in the first half to seal the outcome, opening the unlocked the defense of the hosts in the 25th minute before doubling the lead four minutes later.