PHILIPPINE Air Force continued its magical run in the United Football League Cup, hacking out a 1-0 victory over Union Internacionale Manila to advance to the semifinals of the tournament on Thursday night.
One of the underdogs in the knockout stage, the 13th-seeded Airmen put together a valiant effort anew to stay in the running of the title.
Once again, it was Jimmy Vergara who scored the lone goal in a reprisal of his heroics in the Round of 16, where he scored the late winner that eliminated favored Kaya.
After keeping the Iranian-laden UIM scoreless in regualtion, the Airmen were finally rewarded three minutes before the game could go down to a penalty shootout, when the pint-sized Vergara scored off the loose ball that sent the Air Force gallery into delirium.
"Sinabi ko sa players ko na panalo na kayo bago pa lang mag extra time. Sino mag-give up at mawalan ng composure yun ang matatalo," Airmen coach Edzel Bracamonye said. "Buti hindi nawala disiplina namin."
The Airmen now face the winner of the Stallion-Pachanga Diliman tiff being played at posting time.
In the other side of the draw, Loyola Meralco and Green Archers United clinched the first two Final Four spost Tuesday when they eliminated Global and Ceres, respectively.