Kaya FC turns back Ceres, cops UFL Cup
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 29, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Kaya FC foiled Ceres-La Salle FC’s bid for a golden double this season, hacking out a pulsating 4-2 victory in penalty shootout to cop the UFL Cup diadem Friday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Nick O’Donnell came through with two crucial penalty saves then Christian Ayew and Louis Clark converted their respective spot-kicks to power Kaya to its first UFL title in seven years.

As Cup winners, Kaya also clinched a spot in the playoff round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, the Continental club tourney where Ceres earlier qualified outright after winning the UFL League crown last month.

“It’s quite awesome. I can’t stop thinking about all these boys who worked so hard to get here. They deserve this,” said Kaya team manager Paul Tolentino, who also thanked the club’s Ultras fans for their support.

“What a surreal finish to the Cup. Can’t ask anything more from the boys,  the management and the coaching staff! Despite all the adversities we went through the whole season, we still accomplished this in the end,” said Kaya skipper Aly Borromeo.

Tishan Hanley and Diego Barrera actually gave Kaya a 2-0 cushion going to the hour mark but Lee Jeong Woo and captain Juani Guirado put the game back to square one with a Veteran Chris Greatwich was slapped a second yellow card at the 63rd, leaving Kaya one-man down the rest of the way but the club held on tight until the game went to a shootout.

The two sides were even after the first two shooters, 2-2, with OJ Porteria and Borromeo scoring for Kaya and Bienvenido Marañon and Lee hitting the mark for Ceres.

Ceres keeper Louie Casas stopped Kenshiro Daniels’ shot but O’Donnell cancelled it out when he caught the weak shot of Paul Mulders.

Ayew gave Kaya a 3-2 lead then O’Donnell guessed correctly and denied Ceres’ Martin Steuble.

Clark, who also scored the winning penalty in Kaya’s 5-4 nail-biter over Stallion FC in the semis, secured the title for the club when he slammed it to the back of the net.

Meanwhile, Loyola Meralco Sparks turned back Stallion also in penalties, 4-2, to salvage third place honors.

ACIRC ALY BORROMEO AS CUP ASIAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION CERES-LA SALLE CHRISTIAN AYEW AND LOUIS CLARK DONNELL JUANI GUIRADO KAYA KAYA AND BIENVENIDO MARA KENSHIRO DANIELS
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