KAYA FC-ILOILO BRACES FOR TOUGH MATCH AGAINST HOME UNITED
Kaya FC-Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida (2nd from right) and Home United mentor Saswadimata Dasuki (2nd from left) with their respective players Camelo Tacusalme (right) and Shahril Ishak during the pre-match press conference on Tuesday (March 12, 2019) ahead of the AFC Cup 2019 Group H match at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver)
BACOLOD CITY — The Philippines’ Kaya FC-Iloilo is bracing for a tough test against ASEAN Zonal champions Home United of Singapore in their first home game for the AFC Cup 2019 at the Panaad Stadium here on Wednesday afternoon.
Both squads are lumped in Group H along with Lao Toyota of Laos and PSM Makassar of India, with all four teams having one point each after settling for a draw in their opening matches.
Kaya FC-Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida said he expects a tough game against Home United, but they came prepared.
“We really need the players to step up especially those who come from Bacolod, so we expect their good performance,” he said.
The Iloilo-based team, the 2018 Copa Paulino Alcantara titlist, is making a comeback to the AFC Cup after a two-year absence.
In their opening match last Feb. 27, Kaya FC forced a 1-1 draw against Lao Toyota at the Laos National Stadium in Vientiane.
“The team’s strength is the camaraderie. My boys have big heart for the game. They always make sure they are ready going into the game. It’s the brotherhood of Kaya FC that boosts our morale,” Marcaida said.
He added that the team’s morale and motivation are high despite the challenge of facing the current ASEAN champions.
“Every time we played in Bacolod, we have a good performance and we have great memories here. That motivates us, we learned from our mistakes,” the Kaya FC mentor said.
Defender Camelo Tacusalme, who hails from Talisay City, Negros Occidental, said he looks forward to playing in front of family and friends.
“Our eagerness and willingness to win in front of Ilonggos will be the key for us in Wednesday’s game,” he added.
Home United head coach Saswadimata Dasuki said Kaya FC Iloilo is a “very, very strong team”, and they have to stick to their game plan to win against the hosts.
“We have our game plan, we will try to execute it to get a positive result. We’re playing at 3 p.m., we have to adopt quickly with the weather,” he added.
Striker Shahril Ishak said Home United is giving “110 percent for the game” and hoping to bring home the important three points.
Kaya FC-Iloilo, based at the Iloilo Sports Complex in Iloilo City, has been assigned to play their home games at the Panaad Stadium after their own pitch failed to meet the standards to host an AFC match. (PNA)