Ceres La Salle FC and Global FC arranged a championship showdown after trouncing separate semifinals foes on Thursday in the United Football League (UFL) Cup 2016 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Ceres relied on two saves of goalkeeper Louie Michael Casas to post an 8-7 victory against Kaya FC in the penalty shootout.
It was Ceres that dominated the early part of the game with a goal courtesy of Patrick Reichelt in the eighth minute off a pass from teammate Martin Steuble from the left wing.
However, Kaya came back swiftly on the other end with OJ Porteria capitalizing on a miscommunication within Ceres backline to level the score at 1-1 in the 13th minute.
A minute after, the Busmen once again took the lead with a strike deep inside the box resulting in a 2-1 advantage.
Kaya was quick to respond as Porteria notched his second goal from another sneaky layoff from Robert Lopez Mendy in the 21st minute.
Kaya and Ceres, the two Philippine representatives to the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, traded blows in the remaining minutes of the first half but it was Carli de Murga’s header off a free kick in the 36th minute that earned the Bacolod powerhouse a 3-2 edge going into the break.
Problems started to pile up for Kaya when the game resumed as Jovin Bedic was sent off in the 60th minute after a dangerous tackle on Ceres’ Manny Ott.
Despite being left with just 10 men, Kaya attacked all-out in the dying minutes and was rewarded with a goal by Louis Clark in the 73rd.
With just a few ticks remaining on the clock, Kaya and Ceres failed to convert until the final whistle, sending the game into overtime.
Ceres had a slight advantage on the attacking end but no goals were sunk until the end of the additional 30 minutes.
The game went into a lengthy shootout with all takers converting on their chances but Ceres shot-stopper Casas stepped up with two saves on the attempts of Janrick Soriano and Anton Ugarte to secure the win for his crew.
Meanwhile, Global FC earned their ticket to the UFL Cup finals with a convincing 2-0 win over Stallion FC side in the first semifinals match.
Serbian center back Milan Nikolic struck the initial goal off a shot in the 29th minute of the game.
Global doubled its lead with just two minutes left in the opening half as ex-Stallion standout Louis Serge Kaole scored a goal off a rebound in the 43rd minute.
Stallion FC sent several raids to Global’s territory during the remaining minutes of the match but was unable to connect until the 90th-minute mark.
The finals game between Ceres La Salle and Global FC, which was originally scheduled on April 9, will be played on April 16 to give way to Ceres and Kaya’s campaign in the AFC Cup on Tuesday.