Kaya FC pulled off a 5-4 come-from-behind win on penalties against Stallion FC to book a finals berth in the United Football League (UFL) Cup 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Despite being down 2-0 in most parts of the match, Kaya managed to bounce back before the end of regulation then brought the game into overtime and eventually to a shootout.
Simone Rota notched the first goal for Stallion after driving the ball on a free kick past the defensive wall in the 35thminute while substitute Shirmar Felongco, who came in for Matthew Nierras during halftime, scored another goal to give his club a 2-0 edge.
However, Kaya FC regained composure following an Alfred Osei header that trimmed down the gap to just a solitary goal in the 56th minute of the contest.
But matters turned worse for the Ernie Nierras-mentored brigade after David Basa got an accidental handball infraction inside the box that gave Kaya a chance to tie the game off the penalty area. Striker OJ Porteria sank his shot from the spot vanishing Stallion’s lead in the 61st minute.
Problems continued to besiege Stallion FC in the dying minutes of the second half as defender Rota was taken out of the playing field in a stretcher after colliding with Kaya goalkeeper Nic O’Donnell in the 76th minute.
The two crews traded blows in hopes of bagging the ticket to the finals but no goals were recorded before the 90th-minute mark.
During the extra time, Stallion’s Jordan Mintah and Kaya’s Diego Barrera both posted goals bringing their teams into a stalemate.
The game was finally decided in the shootout as O’Donnell’s crucial save on an Ian Araneta attempt sealed Kaya’s come-from-behind victory against their fellow first division club.
Meanwhile, in the other game, newly crowned UFL champions Ceres La Salle FC relied on Orman Okunaiya’s strike from way outside the box to beat defending cup titlists Loyola Meralco Sparks FC, 1-0.
The finals clash between Kaya FC and Ceres La Salle FC is scheduled on Friday at 8:15 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.