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Ali, Juani relieved after Ceres dethrones tough Kaya in semifinal

Louie Casas leads the prayer as Ceres defeated Kaya in a thrilling shootout. Kevin Estrada

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--Ceres manager Ali Go breathed a huge sigh of relief after dethroning Kaya in the semifinal on Wednesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

[Related Story: Ceres ends Kaya's UFL Cup defense in thrilling shootout]

Talking to the media after the Busmen got their revenge against last season's Cup tormentors in a thrilling shootout after a 3-3 stalemate after extra time, he admitted that facing his former club is always tough for the reigning league champions.

"We knew we were stronger, but everytime we scored they always fight back.", the former Kaya booter described his five year stint with them.

"Kung sino pa ang dehado, siya pa ang nananalo", added the former Azkal, referring to the last season's Cup final, where they lost to Kaya on penalties.

[Related Story: Kaya wins UFL Cup after trouncing Ceres in shootout]

"That's what you call 'The ball is round,'" Go continued as he referred to that shootout, added that it is always a 50-50 affair.

The 40-year old gaffer admits that there are a lot of work to do before the final on the 16th, starting off with their reverse fixture against Singapore's Tampines Rovers in Bacolod in the AFC Cup on Tuesday.

"It's a boost for sure," Go said, added that they rue their defensive lapses as their are going back to the drawing board to rectify those mistakes heading into the pivotal match in Group E.

Match winner Juani Guirado is now calm a week after he was in shock after winning his last match for the Azkals, saying that he has already moved on to that and was focused on this match.

"It was a very hard game, even though that they play with only ten men," the skipper echoed the gaffer's comments, as he also give praise to the gallant stand of Kaya for the entire match.

"Of course I miss Bacolod [and Panaad]", as he looked forward for their rematch with the Stags in six days' time.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada