Karl Decena, InterAKTV
Stallion Sta.Lucia clinched the United Football League championship Thursday night after Kaya FC came away with a 3-2 victory against Global FC at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill in Taguig.
Needing a victory to keep its crown defense alive, Global squandered a 2-nil lead to let Kaya derail its rival’s title hunt and allow Stallion go home with the championship.
The result cemented Stallion’s hold of the League championship with a 15-1-2 win-draw-loss record for 46 points to finish the season on top of the standings. The squad also stamped its dominance this season, bagging its second straight crown after winning the Cup competition last December.
Global looked poised to pull away with a victory, with striker Izzo Elhabib burying a shot after a Kaya miscue at the eighth minute for the squad’s early 1-nil lead.
Elhabib then struck again at the 35th minute to put Global to a comfortable 2-nil cushion.
But Kaya found a golden chance to score moments after, earning a penalty kick at the 39th minute. Veteran midfielder Chris Greatwich muffed his shot, but was able to recover and hit the back of the net off a rebound to trim Kaya’s deficit to 2-1 through halftime.
After giving up a goal, Global took another blow as coach Brian Reid was sent off due to a verbal altercation with Greatwich after the penalty shot.
Kaya completed its comeback in the second half after defender Junior Muñoz sank a header at the 57th minute off a cross from the left flank which evened the match at 2-2.
The woes continued for Global in the second half after star midfielder Jason De Jong got a red card at the 70th minute, forcing the squad to play with just 10 men.
Midfielder Carlie de Murga added salt to injury for Global as he scored an own goal at the 81st minute which allowed Kaya to go all the way with the victory.
Aside from helping Stallion win the League crown, Kaya also finished the season on a high note after solidifying its spot at the fourth place with an 8-7-3 card for 28 points.
Meanwhile, Global, which has a 13-1-3 slate for 40 points, settled for a second-place finish after winning the League title in goal differential last season.
It was the first League crown for Stallion, which joined Division One only two years ago.