AFC Cup: Kitchee penalty sinks debutants Kaya FC

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Kaya FC mark their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup debut with a 1-0 defeat, after falling to Kitchee SC on Tuesday (February 23) at the Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong.

Against a partisan crowd, Kaya FC had their backs against the wall for most of the match.

The Filipinos held strong in the first half to head into the break with the scores level at 0-0.

But in the 68th minute, the referee ruled that a Kaya defender committed a foul during an aerial challenge in the box and awarded the Kitchee with a penalty.

Spanish striker Rufino stepped up to the spot for the Hong Kong squad, who duly drilled the ball low past keeper Matthew Acton.

Later in the match the hosts could have had another penalty in the 89th minute, but the referee instead booked Kitchee’s Kwesi for simulation.

The Manila-based squad could not find the breakthrough to drop their first ever assignment in the AFC Cup.

Kaya will get a chance to get their first ever points in the competition when they go up against the Maldives’ New Radiant SC on March 8.