LEAGUE favorites United City FC (UCFC) and Kaya FC-Iloilo are off to a good start in the 2022 Philippines Football League (PFL) after winning their respective season opener on Aug. 7 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
UCFC kicked off its PFL title defense with a convincing 5-0 victory over Maharlika Manila FC.
Striker Curt Dizon hit the opening goal in the eighth minute, South African defender Alan Robertson added in the 24th and defender Matthew Custudio made it 3-0 with a 36th minute goal.
Forward Kenshiro Daniels joined the fray and scored in the 47th minute, while Pocholo Bugas put the icing on the cake with a 59th minute goal.
On the other hand, Kaya FC needed a late goal by substitute Eric Giganto to beat Azkals Development Team (ADT), 1-0.
Giganto headed in a goal in the 90th minute past the outstretched hands of ADT goalkeeper Julian Schwarzer, the son of Australian legend Mark Schwarzer. ADT gave Kaya FC a run for its money with its youth and the leadership of former UCFC captain Stephan Schrock, who now plays for ADT.
UCFC is the defending titleholder of the PFL after winning the league in 2020. UCFC finished just a point ahead of Kaya FC in the 2020 PFL season. UCFC finished with 12 points, while Kaya FC was a point behind with 11 points. The 2021 season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
UCFC, which was Ceres-Negros FC at that time, also won the other three seasons of the PFL in 2017, 2018 and 2019.