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Mon 22 July 2024

Gayoso lifts Kaya to PFL title repeat in sendoff

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Cambodia-bound Jarvey Gayoso saved his best for last in his final year with Kaya-Iloilo F.C., as the Mighty Lions scored back-to-back titles in the Philippines Football League (PFL) in their 1-0 win versus Davao-UMak Aguilas Sunday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Playing from the left wing, Gayoso attacked the goal against the Davao back third and absorbed a penalty from defender Reynald Villareal in the 17th minute.

The incoming Phnom Penh Crown striker cooly sank the spot kick to the top right corner of the goal, past goalkeer Dini Ouattara, for the championship point.

As a result, Gayoso becomes the presumptive Golden Boot of the season with 24 goals–five more than One Taguig’s Tsukasa Shimomura’s 19 with one game left for both squads.

“I was nervous. It was a deciding penalty kick and all my teammates were telling me that they trust me to take it so I took that trust and trusted myself. I was blessed to be able to score,” said the former Ateneo champion skipper.

“I’m glad that I chose Kaya and I’m glad that they’ve taken me in and help me in my career,” he added.

Davao though had solid chances to score on multiple goals late in the game but two of these chances were saved by Kaya goalkeeper Walid Birrou.

The best chance was in the 81st minute, when striker Uriel Dalapo getting a penalty off Mar Diano’s foul inside the box but the spot kick of Ibrahima N’dour was handily saved by Birrou on the lower left side of the goal.

Birrou doubled in the 90th minute, saving a direct free kick from skipper Daisuke Sato from the far left to frustrate Davao’s title bid.

“The team showed character. We’ve worked very hard, very humbly and I think we deserve it,” said the Spanish-Moroccan who replaced last year’s starting keeper Quincy Kammeraad.

Kaya finishes their still undefeated 2024 PFL campaign with 37 points off 12 wins and one draw and has one remaining game versus Loyola. They are assured of a spot in the 2024-25 AFC Champions League Two together with Dynamic Herb-Cebu (33 points).

Davao’s loss kicks them out from Champions League qualification as they are stuck with 29 points with one game left in their schedule.

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