Villarino ecstatic as Kaya progress

Kaya coach Joel Villarino was thrilled after his side booked their spot in the AFC Cup round of 16 following a goalless draw with New Radiant SC on Tuesday.

With Kitchee having crushed Balestier Khalsa FC 4-0 earlier in the night, Kaya were guaranteed their spot in the last 16 regardless of the result of their match against New Radiant.

Villarino admitted he was disappointed that his side were unable to come away with three points, but was glad that they became the second Filipino club to advance to the next stage, joining Ceres La Salle FC.

“Our objective was to win the game,” he told the official AFC website. “But based on the result of the other game we tried to control the game and finish with a draw; it was a good result.”

Kaya will now face reigning champions Johor Darul Ta’zim in the round of 16 and Villarino conceded that his side need to work on their finishing should they want to give the Malaysian outfit, who won all five of their group stage matches, a run for their money.

“Our problem is finishing and we need to correct it,” he said. “The second round is a tough one and it will be stronger than the group stage, so we have to prepare for this.”