Melliza goal leads Kaya-Iloilo to close win vs. Mendiola

Updated: Jun 10

Originally published by CNN Philippines.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 11) – Jhan Jhan Melliza made the lone goal of the match as defending Copa Paulino Alcantara champions Kaya-Iloilo FC got past a pesky Mendiola FC 1991 side, 1-0, on Monday at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

Kaya struggled to get the ball inside the net in the first half, despite benefiting from the corners forced by the defensive minded Mendiola booters.

In the early minutes of the second half, Kaya stuck to their aggressive game plan in the hopes of getting a lucky break against the resilient Mendiola defenders and their hardworking goalkeeper Michael Asong.

The opportunity came in the 69th minute when Melliza fired the ball into the net as he followed up the missed shot of Japanese midfielder Daizo Horikoshi.

Horikoshi attempted a goal from the left flank but was saved by Asong, though the ball slipped off the hands of the Mendiola goalie and went to the approaching Melliza for the maiden goal of the match.

Sensing urgency to at least force a draw, just like in their previous game against powerhouse United City FC, Mendiola started to assert ball possession in the remaining minutes.

Hamed Hajihadi came in close from a free kick in the 85th minute while team captain Jim Ashley Flores almost scored a goal off a running attack in stoppage time, as Mendiola failed to upset the reigning titlists.

With the victory, the Yu Hoshide-mentored Kaya maintains its hold in the second spot of the league table with seven points and trailing United City by just a point.

The Dan Padernal-mentored Mendiola side suffered their third defeat of the season against one draw for a total of one point -- good for fifth place in the seven-club tournament.

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