Pachanga Diliman ousts Stallion to enter UFL Cup Final Four
MANILA, Philippines – This year’s UFL Cup will have a new champion as Pachanga Diliman axed reigning titlist Stallion FC, 5-3, to complete the Final Four cast Thursday, November 28 at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.
Andrew Santiago scored a brace while Oussenynou Diop, Reza Amirkhizan, and Ariel Zerrudo had a goal each in the high-scoring quarterfinal affair to send home the defending champions and set a semifinals date with Philippine Air Force next week.
Pachanga Diliman cruised to a dream start as Santiago needed less than a minute to open the scoring, pouncing on the rebound for the opening goal while Diop doubled their lead in the 6th minute to put Stallion to an early 0-2 hole.
But the defending champs, despite losing key players in Rufo Sanchez, Joaco Canas, and Lee Joo Young in the offseason, fought back and was rewarded with an 18th minute goal from OJ Clarino.
Down by just a goal with a lot of time left, Stallion then looked the more aggressive of the two sides with Junior Munoz scoring the equalizer in the 32nd minute off a rebound on another Clarino attempt.
Less than ten minutes after the break, Amirkhizan restored Pachanga’s lead as he struck in a world-class goal off a free kick that bent out of Stallion keeper Pedro Marenco’s reach and into the top corner.
Santiago then found the net for the second time as he headed home Pachanga Diliman’s fourth goal of the night in the 64th minute but Ruben Doctora freed himself from PDFC’s defense to bank in a well-struck volley just 3 minutes later.
With Stallion still breathing on their necks in the closing moments, Anto Gonzales finds an open Ariel Zerrudo inside the box who scored the assurance goal for Pachanga in the 82nd minute and formalized the defending champion’s early exit in the UFL Cup.
With the win, Pachanga will face two-time cup winner Air Force in the final four on Tuesday, December 3 at the Emperador Stadium.
Elsewhere, a brace from Chieffy Caligdong powered Green Archers United past Ceres FC, 2-1, while the Loyola Meralco Sparks – behind second half goals from Phil Younghusband and Matthew Hartmann – blanked Global FC, 2-0, on Tuesday, November 26 to also enter the Cup’s final four. - Rappler.com