MANILA, Philippines - Kaya FC and Global FC defeated their rivals to earn the coveted spots in the finals of the United Football League Football Alliance Charity Cup.
The two squads dominated their opponents in the second leg of the their semifinal matchup at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Tuesday, July 22.
Kaya stuns Loyola
Capitalizing on their one goal advantage, Kaya FC conquered the Loyola Meralco Sparks FC, 3-1, to secure a finals appearance for the FA Cup.
The kickers of Kaya were eager to seal the deal for their squad from the start of the game, sending early attacks on Loyola territory.
An opening attack from the left wing directed by Thomas Taylor signaled the start of the offensive front of the yellow shirts.
Meanwhile, Loyola’s frontline was also commencing an attack of their own as immediate shots on goal were taken by their strikers.
A controversial goal from Loyola was disallowed by the game officials following a sneaky header that was sent to the back of the net by Simon Greatwich, who was in an offside position.
As play continued, Kaya’s offensive bombarded the Sparks’ defense from the left wing with several attacks.
Showing off his football prowess, Loyola’s veteran forward Phil Younghusband took several shots on goal but Kaya’s defense proved to be too strong for his assaults.
The opposing teams fired numerous attacks from both sides of the turf but both came empty going into halftime.
A rejuvenated offense returned to the field from the halftime break as Taylor banked on an assist from Emmanuel Mbata to open the scoring for his squad.
Kaya exploited on the absence of Loyola’s dominant defenders Alexandro Elnar and PJ Fadrigalan in the early minutes of the second half.
More shots on goal were taken by the Kaya FC offense but the crippled defense of Loyola held their fort by continually denying their shots on goal.
A striking corner kick by Diego Barrera went deep into their opponents’ territory, finding the undefended Mbata for an easy tap in to the far side of the post to extend the lead of Kaya FC, 2-0.
The unrelenting offense of Kaya did not cease their attack as Mbata notched another goal in the 74th minute to put his team in a comfortable 3-0 lead.
With the clock winding down, a sense of urgency struck the Loyola offense sparking a blitz of attacks to the Kaya FC goal.
P. Younghusband hit a ricocheting ball towards the goal of his adversaries on the 83rd minute but Kaya FC’s goalie Nick O’ Donnell goalie punched the hasty ball away from his post.
Another veteran from the Sparks in the name of Freddy Gonzales tried his luck to break the defense of Kaya and struck gold as he scored the closing goal for this semifinal matchup. The aggregate score for the semifinal bout was 7-4 in favor of Kaya FC.
Global beats Stallion
Global FC, who was down by a goal on aggregate going into the game, staged a come-from-behind win by blanking Stallion FC 3-0 in their second meeting for the FA Cup semis.
The teams got physical early in the game as Stallion FC’s Landry Nguene was stretchered off the field following a series of attacks by his squad.
Global answered with outbreaks of their own courtesy of Mark Hartmann who was enthusiastic on scoring a goal for his home team.
Raul Martinez Rodriguez curled a remarkable ball to the Stallion goal on the 41st minute to equalize the score of both squads on aggregates, 2-2.
The Global offense went knocking once again on the door of Stallion at the start of the second half as a dangerous cross to the middle of the field was sent by Aaron Altiche but was swatted away by the goalkeeper.
On the 58th minute, a rebound goal was snatched by Izo Elhabib following a save that slipped the hands of Stallion GK Wilson Muñoz.
Play went on with both teams hoping to bag goals and take the win for their respective clubs but each of their attacks was defended well.
A sense of urgency struck the Stallion offense in the closing minutes of the game igniting an attack from their side.
Their attacks, however, proved to be too weak for the sturdy defense of Global FC.
A miscommunication on the side of Stallion resulted into a steal and a goal from Hartmann, sealing the deal for The People’s Club on aggregate, 4-2.
Consequently, semis victors Kaya FC and Global FC will battle it out for FA Cup title on Saturday, July 26 at 6:45 PM at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, while Loyola FC and Stallion FC will fight for third place earlier in the day at 3:15 PM. -