MANILA, Philippines – Kaya-Iloilo suffered a 3-1 defeat to Chinese club Shandong Taishan at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, spoiling the country’s first-ever Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League match.
The Philippine Football League champions could not maintain their form, leaving the match scoreless. The visitors eventually took the lead after a penalty from Moises after the hour and an empty-netter from Mathues Pato in the 71st minute.
Jarvey Gayoso’s goal in the 79th after beating goalkeeper Han Rongze gave Kaya a lifeline, but Crysan’s goal in stoppage time ended the home side’s hopes of a draw.
It was a disappointing setback for Kaya, back at the top level of Asian club football after his first campaign in 2021 under a bubble setup in Thailand.
But Kaya has now lost all seven Champions League matches, and an elusive first point is expected to be a difficult one with Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and South Korea’s Incheon United also in Group G.
Kaya travels to Incheon for the next ACL match on October 4 at Sungui Arena Park.
More than 1,700 fans, half of whom supported last season’s Chinese Super League runners-up, came to watch the first of three consecutive continental club tournaments on home soil.
Stallion-Laguna will take on Indonesia’s Bali United in Binan on Wednesday, while Dynamic Herb-Cebu will face Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Crown the next day at the Rizal Memorial for the opening matches of the AFC Cup.
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