STALLION-Sta. Lucia FC pounced on a Kaya FC side recently orphaned by its coach, scoring a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night to keep its share of the United Football League lead at the Emperador Stadium in Tagiug.
Skipper Reuben ‘Balut’ Doctora and Bervic Italia struck in the second half for the reigning UFL Cup champions to beat an opponent whose mentor, Maor Rozen, resigned last Saturday after being barely two months into the job.
The Stallions, who remained unbeaten in four games to tie Global with 12 points, also registered their first victory over Kaya in three meetings since the last League play.
Handled for the moment by Melo Sabacan, with Chris Greatwich acting as playing-coach, Kaya actually played well in the first 45 minutes but was unable to convert on its chances.
“Yun ang kinakatakutan ko. Sabi ko sa mga players ko, the hardest to play against is a team who feels they have nothing to lose. That’s why I told them, once we were leading, do not release the pressure,” said Stallion coach Ernie Nierras.
After surviving Kaya’s attempts in the scoreless first half, the Stallions were finally rewarded just two minutes into the second half when Doctora slotted home his first goal since last December’s UFL Cup Finals against Global.
“Ilang games na rin ako hindi nakaka-score kaya pinaghirapan ko talaga to,” the 26-year-old Barotac Nuevo pride said. “Siguro nawala lang composure nila (Kaya) sa second half kaya naka-score kami.”
The Stallions sustained the attack as Italia doubled the lead 11 minutes after coming in for Prince Boley in the 59th minute.
Janrick Soriano pulled a goal back in the 87th minute for Kaya, but failed to sustain the fightback and fell to its second loss against a win and draw for four points.