Kaya rues mental lapse in loss to Kitchee

Earl Leonard Sebastian - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – “Lapse in judgment cost us the game.”

Those were the exact words of Kaya forward OJ Porteria after the Philippine club’s stunning loss to the more experienced Kitchee football club from Hong Kong, 0-1, in front of a surprised crowd inside the Rizal Memorial Stadium for the resumption of the AFC Cup.

“They definitely came out to play today. They are a very experienced team which obviously showed today. In a split second, when they see a hole in your defense, they will punish you,” said Porteria.

“Obviously, we really wanted to win with what’s on stake but they were more prepared and they showed they were hungrier than us.”

Asked if the scorching 37 degrees summer weather was a factor in the match, Porteria did not consider it at all as both teams had two water breaks in the 45 minute first half, which the Hong Kong club took advantage of.

After having already incurred two yellow cards, Porteria will not be around during the club’s next game against New Radiant SC in Male, Maldives, but the Philippine Azkals forward also said that “Kaya is not just about 11 players. We have many players, and I’m sure they can get the job done. Off the pitch, I’ll be there to inspire them and hopefully my presence would be enough.”

The win would have catapulted Kaya into the Round of 16 in the AFC Cup, a rarity for a Philippine club. Now, Kaya is in a must-win situation and hopes that Kitchee will either settle for a draw or lose their next match against Balestier Khalsa of Singapore.

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