AFC CUP: Kaya-Iloilo braces for vicious PSM Makassar at home
MANILA, Philippines – Kaya FC–Iloilo and PSM Makassar will face off once again on Wednesday, April 17, but the Philippine team will not settle for anything less than a win at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
"The team that is hungrier to get the 3 points will get the result. It’s going to be a test of character, not just for our players, but for them as well. We expect them to work hard to get 3 points tomorrow, and we’re ready for that. If we have an answer for their set pieces, I think we’ll be having a positive outcome," said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida.
Both teams are currently tied on top of Group H with 5 points, but Kaya is slightly ahead on goal difference.
With third-placed Home United just a point behind in the standings, Wednesday’s 3pm encounter provides a massive opportunity for both sides to create a cushion atop Group H.
"It’s a crucial game. The team that gets maximum points will stay at the top of the table to start the second round," added Marcaida.
Given what’s at stake for both sides, Kaya goalkeeper Michael Casas is hoping home field advantage will play its part as the Filipino club thumped ASEAN Zonal champion Home United FC, 5-0, last March 13.
"Tomorrow will be a big game for us especially that we are here at home. We will get more confidence, especially from our fans traveling from Iloilo. We’re expecting PSM to do their best and for sure we’ll need to perform," said Casas.
"We’re expecting PSM to attack more and we’ve worked hard not only in training, but off the field as well. We’re studying their attacks. As coach said they’re dangerous in set pieces, they’re big boys. But we’re at home, our families are watching, so we’re motivated and we’re eager to win the game tomorrow."
PSM Makassar were on the way to taking all 3 points in the teams’ first meeting in Indonesia, but Eero Markkanen’s penalty was canceled out in thrilling fashion by a 93rd minute goal from Marwin Angeles.
PSM’s head coach Darije Kalezic is expecting Wednesday’s encounter to be equally tight.
"The first game showed us that we’re pretty much two equal teams. We have the same strengths. We played the first game 1-1 and I’m expecting tomorrow to be a tough game for both teams," said Kalezic. – Rappler.com