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Kaya subdues Stallion on penalties, earns first UFL Cup final ticket

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--Kaya came back from two goals behind in normal time and a goal behind in extra time to defeat Stallion on penalty kicks, 5-4, in the first UFL Cup semifinal Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium after the extended match ended, 3-3.

Alfred Osei and OJ Porteria fired two goals in five minutes after being down 0-2 in the first 56 minutes of the match to force the extension.

Diego Barrera equalized in extra time right after Jordan Mintah scored to force the shootout. Nick O Donnell punctuated the comeback by denying Ian Araneta at the first attempt.

With the win, Fabien Lewis became the first Kaya gaffer to lead the club to the Final of the tournament. The win also ended Stallion’s longstanding dominance on the club, with is last head-to-head win coming in the final day of the 2012 league. It also erased the stigma of the painful 2011 semifinal defeat against Loyola, a match Kaya led by as much as three goals.

Simone Rota’s free kick in the 35th minute blasted past the wall and the keeper to put Stallion ahead.

In the second half, Stallion continued its aggressiveness and was rewarded nine minutes into the restart. Halftime sub Shirmar Felongco doubled the advantage on a rebound that made O’Donnell pay.

Two minutes later, Kaya pulled one back thru Osei, who chipped the ball off a Delon Yao header past keeper Johann Noetzel to start the first comeback attempt.

And in the hour mark, Porteria restored parity thru a penalty kick after David Basa was caught red-handed handling the ball inside the box.

With sixteen minutes to go, Stallion were down to ten men after referee Linjun Talaver sent Serge Kaole to the cold showers after his second bookable offense on a hard foul on Porteria.

At the extension, it became a 10-on-10 after Kaya also lost Osei for his second yellow nine minutes after  it began. He was also sent to the dugout after fouling Mintah hard.

Mintah made it 3-2 Stallion in the 101st minute after converting on a Nate Alquiros rebound. But exactly a minute later, substitute Diego Barrera heads in a Joven Bedic cross to intensify this semifinal.

In the shootout, the experience of O’Donnell, who won in three previous shootouts in his collegiate career with Ateneo, prevailed as he saved Araneta’s take, sealing their first trip to the final.

Kaya will face either Ceres or Loyola in the final on Friday night. The Ceres-Loyola is ongoing as of posting.