Jordan Mintah fired a hat trick, as Kaya FC-Makati demolished Ilocos United FC, 5-2, to ascend to the top of the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Wednesday night at the University of Makati Football Stadium.
Mintah struck twice in the first half and notched another goal late in the game as Kaya Makati seized its seventh win for 23 points surpassing FC Meralco Manila in goal difference.
Kaya also posted its fourth straight victory despite playing four games in two weeks.
“We’ve gotten this streak because of hard work and consistency in training. We have been able to manage recovery,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida.
Ilocos United stayed at the bottom with its eighth loss in 11 matches but coach Ian Gillan remained upbeat heading into their second consecutive fixture against the current leader.
“We just move on and play Kaya again. Hopefully, we’ll get something better out of that,” said the Australian mentor.
Mintah opened the scoring spree for the Makati booters as he converted on a precise finish in the seventh minute but the visitors equalized with John Kanayama’s successful penalty kick in the 29th.
Five minutes later, the Ghanaian forward pushed the host ahead again as he head home the ball off a setpiece.
Robert Lopez Mendy doubled the lead for Kaya just 13 minutes after the restart and Eric Giganto scored in the 69th before Grayham Caygill hit the second goal for Ilocos in the 81st.
Mintah wrapped up the huge win as he completed his first three-goal feat of the season with another header four minutes before time.
Earlier, Jhan Melliza blasted a brace, as Stallion Laguna FC blanked JPV Marikina FC, 2-0, to nail its breakthrough win at the Biñan Football Stadium.
Melliza scored in the opposing halves, as Stallion Laguna grabbed its maximum points for the first time and climbed to No. 6.
JPV Marikina absorbed its third straight setback and fifth overall though it remained No. 5 with 18 points.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA