MANILA, Philippines - Reigning United Football League (UFL) champions Global FC scored in the dying minutes of their semifinal meeting with the Loyola Meralco Sparks FC at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium (RMFS) on Tuesday, November 4, winning 2-1 to book an appearance for the final of the FA League Cup.
Global FC will now meet Ceres La Salle FC in the inaugural UFL FA League Cup final game, which is set for Thursday, November 6 at RMFS.
Loyola FC didn't go quietly, however. The Sparks came out aggressively early on, firing shots on goal that were defended well by Global’s keeper Patrick Deyto.
Despite the ferocious exchange of blows coming from both sides, the first half of play ended in goal-less draw. Global FC's offense picked up in the second half with a series of shots that put Loyola on notice.
The calls of the defending champs were finally answered in the final minutes of regulation as substitute Edgar Briones, who came in during the 73rd minute, broke the goal silence of the match to take the lead for his team.
As the game went into stoppage period, the blitzes of Global found its harmony as Izo Elhabib doubled their squads' lead with a goal of his own.
The Sparks, however, denied Deyto's chance of notching another clean sheet as an unwanted tackle inside the box resulted into a penalty, which Phil Younghusband converted in the final seconds of regulation.
Ceres La Salle FC earned their trip to the finals after drubbing Pachanga Diliman FC, 3-1.
Pachanga gave Ceres an early scare as an early penalty was given up by the latter's defensive line in the 6th minute. Yi Young Park struck the ball past Ceres FC's goalkeeper to tally a 1-0 lead for his team.
On the other end, Ceres' retaliation attack paid off as Jason Sabio headed a goal to the back of the net off a rebound to equalize the score at 1-1.
The opposing clubs knocked on each other's door for the remaining minutes of the opening half but no goals were sank until the break.
When play resumed, Ceres FC shifted their offense into full throttle with a flurry of attacks to bother the exhausted defense of Pachanga.
Consequently, Pachanga attempted to ignite the fire of their frontline headed by Jinggoy Valmayor but their barrages proved too weak for their adversary's defensive stance.
The hot offense of Ceres FC once again penetrated on the offensive end as Jin Ho Kim tipped in a goal to snatch a 2-1 advantage for his club.
Manny Ott, on the other hand, put an end to the hopes of a Pachanga comeback with a goal in the 86th minute to ensure his team's trip to the finals. - Rappler.com