After a splendid win against Belmont-Deft Touch FC, the Loyola Meralco Sparks came back to action with a smooth handling of Kaya-Makati FC in the group stage of the 2017 Stallion-Laguna Invitational Cup. The second half’s well-distributed scoring spree secured the Sparks the top spot in the group stage.
With the national team call ups out for the match, a bunch of new signings went to the pitch and took over attacking duties. Connor Tacagni broke the deadlock 40 minutes into the game after several missed chances by the Sparks. Tacagni took charge and rapidly slipped past his opponents for the finish. Just before the first half ended, Tacagni had the chance to double the lead but his header was off.
Samuel Kouame opened the second half with his solo effort against Kaya’s backline and sent it to the back of the net. Kouame quickly setup another goal opportunity to Ashley Flores and the winger tripled the lead. The game was in favor to the Sparks but a sneaky goal by Kaya disrupted the squad’s rhythmn. The flag was up in one of Kaya’s attacks but no whistle was called by the referee. The confusion led to Ric Padilla leaving his post and gave Kaya an open chance to score. The Sparks quickly responded with another goal. James Hall fired from the outside and Kone Yaya followed with the rebound. Yaya also sealed the game as he scored another one minute before the final whistle, as he found the perfect spot to contribute two minutes later.
Despite the win, head coach, Aris Caslib, acknowledged the effort of Kaya-Makati FC.
“Overall the result was for us but then the boys of Kaya did their job as a unit,” said Caslib.
The head coach also noted that the mental battle inside the pitch dictated the flow of the game.
“It’s more of the concentration. Every match will always have a different problem and hopefully all the challenges of team will be addressed,” added Caslib.
Next Wednesday, the Sparks will face a another tough test as they will face either Kaya FC or Global FC. The game will kickoff at 3:30pm at the Binan Football Stadium.