Defending champion Kaya F.C.-Iloilo defeated returning Maharlika-Manila F.C., 1-0, with Daizo Horikoshi’s early goal in the second half of the opening game of the Copa Paulino Alcantara at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.

/ 15 March 2022

Ryo Fujii, Horikoshi, Shirmar Felongco, and Eric Gigan of Kaya-Iloilo came up with close chances to score in the first period of the game but failed to do so under the 10 minutes run.

Still, the Iloilo City-based booters continued to search for their first goal as Japanese winger Horikoshi fired a left-footed shot barely outside of the box and skipped through Maharlika goalie Henri Bandeken Fong, which spelled the difference at the 46th minute.

Maharlika-Manila, who skipped last year’s tournament, proved that they won’t go down without a fight as Kaya tried to double their score with Lopez Mendy’s header which sailed wide and Jovin Bedic who also misfired his close-range attempt.

At the 69th minute, Giganto was pulled out from the match and replaced by Fitch Arboleda as the former sustained a leg injury.

Maharlika-Manila tried to bounce back but to no avail as no goal from the team could penetrate through the defense of Kaya-Iloilo keeper.

The game ended with no goals for Maharlika, but it was enough for the Ilonggos to bring home the victory after Hirikoshi’s goal, who also delivered three successful goals since he joined three years ago to the team. 

Kaya will next face  United City FC on March 28, 5:00 PM while Maharlika will try to recover as they take Mendiola FC 1991 on March 2, 5:00 PM.