Sekou Sylla came through with a brace as Global Cebu FC trounced Kaya FC-Makati, 3-1, to snatch the solo second in the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The Guinean striker, who suited up for Global just the third time, netted an early header and went for a simple tap-in at the tail-end of the match, much to the delight of interim coach Marjo Allado.
“Supposedly, he [would have]scored three goals tonight. But we’re [still]very happy that Sylla scored already (in this game),” beamed Allado, whose team bounced back from a dismal 1-1 draw against Stallion Laguna FC last Sunday.
“I’m sure it will be a habit for him to score every game,” he added.
The Cebu-based booters improved to 2-1-0 win-draw-loss, good for seven points, to move within striking distance of leading team FC Meralco Manila, which has nine points.
Securing no letup this time around, Global opened up the scoring just seven minutes into the game as Dennis Villanueva headed home a well-taken free kick by Paul Mulders.
Sylla doubled the lead after eleven minutes as the 25-year old towered over Kaya defenders to head the ball, which lobbed past goalkeeper Zach Banzon.
Kaya mounted a fightback early in the second half with Eric Giganto’s long shot hitting Wesley dos Santos’ hand inside the box before Robert Lopez-Mendy took a tidy penalty kick in the 55th minute.
Just as when the Makati side was beginning to press the attack, forward Jalsor Soriano was shown a straight red card in the 77th.
Global then capitalized on the undermanned Kaya as Sylla went for a quick counter-attack in the last minute before feigning Banzon and tapping home the final goal.
Kaya mentor Noel Marcaida rued his wards’ missed wide-open chances in the box as they fell to third place with four points on a 1-1-1 card.
“If you could not convert them (chances), you don’t deserve to win the game,” said Marcaida.
Global takes a breather from PFL action as it hopes to carry the momentum going into its next assignment against Singaporean host Home United FC in the second leg of the AFC Cup Asean Zonal semifinals on May 30.
Meanwhile, Kaya will try to restore its firepower when it tackles JPV Marikina FC in the PFL on May 27.