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PSM Makassar edges Kaya-Iloilo to take Group H lead

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By Kevin Estrada

It took just a three-minute stretch for PSM Makassar to take the Group H lead away from Kaya-Iloilo after they silenced Panaad with a 2-0 win in Holy Wednesday afternoon.

First-half goals by Rizky Pellu and Eero Markkanen put the Indonesian side on top of their group, which featured a wild finish to the return fixture as it ended with 10 men each.

Noel Marcaida’s side were vertically challenged in this tie, with centre-half Camelo Tacusalme suspended due to cards, and it posed a problem facing a tall frontline that Darije Kalezic had.

In the searing heat of Bacolod, PSM took initiative from the get go, with their first attempt came 15 seconds after kicking off, when Markkanen caught Louie Casas off his line with his long ranged effort.

That aggressiveness bore fruit 21 minutes later when Pellu headed home the left-footed cross from Wiljan Pluim just near the six-yard box past Casas.

The Finn then doubled their lead three minutes later after simply brushing aside Jalsor Soriano and slots the ball into the net with his right foot, and the magnificent goalkeeping by Rivky Mokodongpit got them a comfortable cushion at the break.

PSM went down to ten men seven minutes after the restart with Abdul Rahman given marching orders by referee Mongkolchai Pechsri for a second bookable offense, with the Thai had whistled 38 fouls between them.

But just four minutes before time, disaster struck for Kaya-Iloilo after Soriano was given a straight red for kicking Marc Klok whilst on the ground after a foul.

Joven Bedic gave a fighting chance at full time after the Kaya skipper pulled one back from the spot after Jordan Mintah was fouled inside by Hasyim Kipuw, but it turned out to be a late consolation as their three-match unbeaten run was snapped at their own patch.

Kaya-Iloilo (4-4-2): Casas (GK), Matas, Omura, Soriano, Bedic (C), Angeles (Amita 68′), Osei, Felongco (Tuason 77′), Mintah, Tacagni (Pasinabo 57′), Roberts

PSM Makassar (4-2-3-1): Mokodompit (GK), Markkanen, Klok, Rachmat (Kipuw 63′), Munhar, Rizky Pellu, Taufik Hidayat (Adi Utama 86′), Rahman, Beny Wahyudi, Arfan (Asnawi 83′) , Pluim (C)